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1 April 2015 Numerical study on 3D composite morphing actuators
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There are a number of actuators using the deformation of electroactive polymer (EAP), where fewer papers seem to have focused on the performance of 3D morphing actuators based on the analytical approach, due mainly to their complexity. The present paper introduces a numerical analysis approach on the large scale deformation and motion of a 3D half dome shaped actuator composed of thin soft membrane (passive material) and EAP strip actuators (EAP active coupon with electrodes on both surfaces), where the locations of the active EAP strips is a key parameter. Simulia/Abaqus Static and Implicit analysis code, whose main feature is the high precision contact analysis capability among structures, are used focusing on the whole process of the membrane to touch and wrap around the object. The unidirectional properties of the EAP coupon actuator are used as input data set for the material properties for the simulation and the verification of our numerical model, where the verification is made as compared to the existing 2D solution. The numerical results can demonstrate the whole deformation process of the membrane to wrap around not only smooth shaped objects like a sphere or an egg, but also irregularly shaped objects. A parametric study reveals the proper placement of the EAP coupon actuators, with the modification of the dome shape to induce the relevant large scale deformation. The numerical simulation for the 3D soft actuators shown in this paper could be applied to a wider range of soft 3D morphing actuators.
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Kazuma Oishi, Makoto Saito, Nishita Anandan, Kevin Kadooka, and Minoru Taya "Numerical study on 3D composite morphing actuators", Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 94301M (1 April 2015);

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