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Article

Dielectric Elastomer Fiber Actuators with Aqueous Electrode

Department of Mechanical and Intelligent Systems Engineering, Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofu-gaoka, Chofu 182-8585, Tokyo, Japan
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Academic Editor: Klaus Werner Stöckelhuber
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4310; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244310
Received: 31 October 2021 / Revised: 6 December 2021 / Accepted: 6 December 2021 / Published: 9 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Elastomers in Electronic Applications in 2022)
Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are one of the promising actuation technologies for soft robotics. This study proposes a fiber-shaped DEA, namely dielectric elastomer fiber actuators (DEFAs). The actuator consisted of a silicone tube filled with the aqueous electrode (sodium chloride solution). Furthermore, it could generate linear and bending actuation in a water environment, which acts as the ground side electrode. Linear-type DEFA and bending-type DEFA were fabricated and characterized to prove the concept. A mixture of Ecoflex 00–30 (Smooth-On) and Sylgard 184 (Dow Corning) was employed in these actuators for the tube part, which was 75.0-mm long with outer and inner diameters of 6.0 mm and 5.0 mm, respectively. An analytical model was constructed to design and predict the behavior of the devices. In the experiments, the linear-type DEFA exhibited an actuation strain and force of 1.3% and 42.4 mN, respectively, at 10 kV (~20 V/µm) with a response time of 0.2 s. The bending-type DEFA exhibited an actuation angle of 8.1° at 10 kV (~20 V/µm). Subsequently, a jellyfish-type robot was developed and tested, which showed the swimming speed of 3.1 mm/s at 10 kV and the driving frequency of 4 Hz. The results obtained in this study show the successful implementation of the actuator concept and demonstrate its applicability for soft robotics. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft robotics; dielectric elastomer actuators; fibers; aqueous electrodes; underwater soft robotics; dielectric elastomer actuators; fibers; aqueous electrodes; underwater
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shimizu, K.; Nagai, T.; Shintake, J. Dielectric Elastomer Fiber Actuators with Aqueous Electrode. Polymers 2021, 13, 4310. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244310

AMA Style

Shimizu K, Nagai T, Shintake J. Dielectric Elastomer Fiber Actuators with Aqueous Electrode. Polymers. 2021; 13(24):4310. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244310

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shimizu, Keita, Toshiaki Nagai, and Jun Shintake. 2021. "Dielectric Elastomer Fiber Actuators with Aqueous Electrode" Polymers 13, no. 24: 4310. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244310

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