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Meccanica

, Volume 50, Issue 11, pp 2839–2854 | Cite as

Actuator design and automated manufacturing process for DEAP-based multilayer stack-actuators

  • Jürgen Maas
  • Dominik Tepel
  • Thorben Hoffstadt
Soft Mechatronics

Abstract

By applying an electric field to a transducer based on dielectric electroactive polymers (DEAP) a relatively high amount of deformation with considerable force generation is achieved. Due to their unique features DEAP-transducers are a promising alternative for conventional actuator systems based on the electromagnetic principle. To maximize the force or absolute deformation of a DEAP-based actuator multilayer technologies are favorable. Although these actuators recently gained a lot of interest, the development of automated manufacturing processes for such transducers are still at a very early stage. Therefore, the authors present the conceptual design and realization of a novel automated process based on pre-fabricated elastomer material for manufacturing DEAP-based multilayer stack-actuators with homogeneous and reproducible properties. For this purpose, the specific design and topology of the conceptualized multilayer stack-actuator from a single layer actuator film towards the encapsulation of the stacked multilayer actuator is explained in a first step. Due to its smart design, advantageous features like safety fuses can be integrated in these multilayer actuators. Furthermore, for its design and optimal integration in various applications a multiphysics FE model is proposed. Afterwards, the manufacturing process consisting of several sub-processes is presented in detail. The quality of the developed process and the proposed FE model is demonstrated by an experimental validation of several manufactured multilayer DEAP stack-actuators made from polyurethane and silicone. Finally, the obtained results are concluded and an outlook concerning an improved actuator characteristic based on a material optimization is given.

Keywords

DEAP Multilayer stack-actuator Manufacturing process Design Validation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This contribution is accomplished with-in the collaborative research project “Dielastar - Dielektrische Elastomere für Stellaktoren” (Dielectric Elastomer Actuators), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of Germany under grant number 13X4011E, see www.dielastar.de.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Maas
    • 1
  • Dominik Tepel
    • 1
  • Thorben Hoffstadt
    • 1
  1. 1.Control Engineering and Mechatronic SystemsOstwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied SciencesLemgoGermany

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