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Title: Muscle-like high-stress dielectric elastomer actuators with oil capsules
Authors: La, Thanh-Giang
Lau, Gih-Keong
Shiau, Li-Lynn
Tan, Adrian Wei-Yee
Keywords: DRNTU::Engineering::Aeronautical engineering::Materials of construction
DRNTU::Engineering::Mechanical engineering::Machine design and construction
Issue Date: 2014
Source: La, T.- G., Lau, G.- K., Shiau, L.- L., & Tan, A. W.- Y. (2014). Muscle-like high-stress dielectric elastomer actuators with oil capsules. Small materials and structures, 23(10), 1-10.
Series/Report no.: Smart materials and structures
Abstract: Despite being capable of generating large strains, dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are short of strength. Often, they cannot produce enough stress or as much work as that achievable by human elbow muscles. Their maximum actuation capacity is limited by the electrical breakdown of dielectric elastomers. Often, failures of these soft actuators are pre-mature and localized at the weakest spot under high field and high stress. Localized breakdowns, such as electrical arcing, thermal runaway and punctures, could spread to ultimately cause rupture if they were not stopped. This work shows that dielectric oil immersion and self-clearable electrodes nibbed the buds of localized breakdowns from DEAs. Dielectric oil encapsulation in soft-membrane capsules was found to help the DEA sustain an ultra-high electrical breakdown field of 835 MVm-1, which is 46% higher than the electrical breakdown strength of the dry DEA in air at 570 MV m-1. Because of the increased apparent dielectric strength, this oil-capsuled DEA realizes a higher maximum isotonic work density of up to 31.51Jkg-1, which is 43.8% higher than that realized by the DEA in air. Meanwhile, it produces higher maximum isometric stress of up to 1.05 MPa, which is 75% higher than that produced by the DEA in air. Such improved actuator performances are comparable to those achieved by human flexor muscles, which can exert up to 1.2 MPa during elbow flexion. This muscle-like, high-stress dielectric elastomeric actuation is very promising to drive future human-like robots.
DOI: 10.1088/0964-1726/23/10/105006
Rights: © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Small Materials and Structures, IOP Publishing Ltd. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [].
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MAE Journal Articles

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