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Open AccessArticle

Multi-Trigger Thermo-Electro-Mechanical Soft Actuators under Large Deformations

Department of Engineering, School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK
School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 11155-4563 Tehran, Iran
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 489;
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 19 February 2020 / Accepted: 20 February 2020 / Published: 23 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Soft Electronics)
Dielectric actuators (DEAs), because of their exceptional properties, are well-suited for soft actuators (or robotics) applications. This article studies a multi-stimuli thermo-dielectric-based soft actuator under large bending conditions. In order to determine the stress components and induced moment (or stretches), a nominal Helmholtz free energy density function with two types of hyperelastic models are employed. Non-linear electro-elasticity theory is adopted to derive the governing equations of the actuator. Total deformation gradient tensor is multiplicatively decomposed into electro-mechanical and thermal parts. The problem is solved using the second-order Runge-Kutta method. Then, the numerical results under thermo-mechanical loadings are validated against the finite element method (FEM) outcomes by developing a user-defined subroutine, UHYPER in a commercial FEM software. The effect of electric field and thermal stimulus are investigated on the mean radius of curvature and stresses distribution of the actuator. Results reveal that in the presence of electric field, the required moment to actuate the actuator is smaller. Finally, due to simplicity and accuracy of the present boundary problem, the proposed thermally-electrically actuator is expected to be used in future studies and 4D printing of artificial thermo-dielectric-based beam muscles. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-trigger soft actuators; thermo-electro-hyperelastic materials; large bending; semi-analytical solution; finite element method (FEM) multi-trigger soft actuators; thermo-electro-hyperelastic materials; large bending; semi-analytical solution; finite element method (FEM)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yarali, E.; Noroozi, R.; Yousefi, A.; Bodaghi, M.; Baghani, M. Multi-Trigger Thermo-Electro-Mechanical Soft Actuators under Large Deformations. Polymers 2020, 12, 489.

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