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Article

Hydraulically Coupled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for a Bioinspired Suction Cup

1
Key Laboratory of Expressway Construction Machinery of Shaanxi Province, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China
2
School of Mechanical and Precision Instrument Engineering, Xi’an University of Technology, Xi’an 710048, China
3
Highway School, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jibran Khaliq
Polymers 2021, 13(20), 3481; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13203481
Received: 12 September 2021 / Revised: 27 September 2021 / Accepted: 27 September 2021 / Published: 11 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Their Applications)
Suction cups of cephalopods show a preeminent performance when absorbing irregular or flat objects. In this paper, an octopi-inspired suction cup, driven by hydraulically coupled dielectric elastomer actuators (HCDEAs), is proposed, which is considered to be controlled easily and have compact structure. To investigate the performance of suction cups, experiments have been conducted to clarify the effect of the pre-stretch ratio and chamber angle on suction forces. It could be seen that both factors have a complicated influence on suction forces, and the best performance obtained was a reasonable combination of the pre-stretch ratio and chamber angle. Here, we achieved a maximum suction force of 175 mN with λp = 1.2, α = 23° under a DC voltage of 3500 V. To enhance the capacity and adaptation of the suction cup, flat objects of various types of materials were introduced as targets. Experimental results displayed that for tested materials, including a dry/wet acrylic plate, CD, ceramic wafer, and aluminum plate, the suction cup showed outstanding performance of absorbing and lifting the target without any damage or scratch to them. Our research may serve as a guide to the optimal design and provide insights into the performance of the HCDEAs-actuated suction cup. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectric elastomer; suction cup; bioinspired; electrically zipping; hydraulically coupled dielectric elastomer; suction cup; bioinspired; electrically zipping; hydraulically coupled
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, C.; Liu, L.; Xu, K.; Dong, Z.; Ding, Y.; Li, Q.; Li, P. Hydraulically Coupled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for a Bioinspired Suction Cup. Polymers 2021, 13, 3481. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13203481

AMA Style

Zhang C, Liu L, Xu K, Dong Z, Ding Y, Li Q, Li P. Hydraulically Coupled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for a Bioinspired Suction Cup. Polymers. 2021; 13(20):3481. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13203481

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Chi, Lei Liu, Kanghui Xu, Zhonghong Dong, Yuxi Ding, Qi Li, and Pengfei Li. 2021. "Hydraulically Coupled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for a Bioinspired Suction Cup" Polymers 13, no. 20: 3481. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13203481

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