Biaxially compliant metal thin film electrodes for dielectric elastomer actuators
Low, Sze Hsien
Date of Issue2014
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dielectric elastomer actuators are soft actuators that can attain high actuated strains of more than 100%. In order to cater to such large strains, its electrodes have to be able to follow the elastomer’s large deformations. Metal thin films, which have high-conductivities, are much stiffer and may fracture at a much lower strain than elastomers. However, metals have high conductivities and therefore make very attractive electrical conductors. In order to make metal thin films biaxially compliant and stretchable, we have utilised two mechanisms: inherent micro-cracks and biaxial buckling. Micro-cracked metal films have moderate stiffness and stretchability while the biaxially buckled or crumpled metal thin films are extremely compliant and stretchability, comparable to that of conventional carbon-based particulate electrodes. In addition, they have the additional benefits of low conductivity and the ability to self-clear. As such, this makes them highly suitable for use as electrodes in high-strain DEA applications.
DRNTU::Engineering::Mechanical engineering::Motors, engines and turbines