Methods to prevent electrothermal breakdown of acrylic dielectric elastomer actuators
Date of Issue2016
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are soft capacitors which can produce large strains as comparable to mammal muscles when activated by high voltage. They are potentially used to make muscle-like actuators, so they are widely termed as ‘artificial muscles’. But, their demonstrated performance can deviate substantially because of dielectric breakdown under high voltage as known from polymeric capacitors. Therefore, the DEA technology is not yet mature for industrial adoption. This PhD research are to investigate the breakdown mechanisms of pre-stretched acrylic dielectric elastomer, and to make the elastomer electrically even stronger for high stress generation.