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Open AccessCommunication
Polymers 2017, 9(7), 283; doi:10.3390/polym9070283

Fabrication and Test of an Inflated Circular Diaphragm Dielectric Elastomer Generator Based on PDMS Rubber Composite

TeCIP Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, P.zza dei Martiri, 33, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, Via Somarive, 9, 38123 Trento, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jodie Lutkenhaus
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electroactive Polymers and Gels)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [24576 KB, uploaded 15 July 2017]   |  


This paper introduces a fabrication method and the experimental characterization of a soft polymeric energy converter manufactured using a combination of dielectric and conductive polydimethylsiloxane elastomers. The presented system is an inflated circular diaphragm dielectric elastomer generator; i.e., a deformable electrostatic transducer that converts the mechanical work done by a time-varying pressure into electricity. A prototype of the system is realized on the basis of a simple fabrication procedure that makes use of commercially available silicone dielectric elastomer films and custom-prepared deformable conductive electrodes. A test-bench is developed and employed to estimate the energy conversion performance. Remarkable results are obtained, such as an amount of energy converted per cycle of up to 0.3 J, converted power of up to 0.15 W, energy per unit of employed elastomer mass of up to 173 J/kg, and fraction of the input mechanical work converted into electricity of 30%. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectric elastomer; PDMS devices; variable capacitance; electrostatic generators dielectric elastomer; PDMS devices; variable capacitance; electrostatic generators

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Moretti, G.; Righi, M.; Vertechy, R.; Fontana, M. Fabrication and Test of an Inflated Circular Diaphragm Dielectric Elastomer Generator Based on PDMS Rubber Composite. Polymers 2017, 9, 283.

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