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Article

High-Speed, Helical and Self-Coiled Dielectric Polymer Actuator

1
Insitute of Solid State Electronics, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
2
Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Material Technology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Actuators 2021, 10(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10010015
Received: 11 December 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 12 January 2021 / Published: 15 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Actuators 2020)
Novel actuator materials are necessary to advance the field of soft robotics. However, since current solutions are limited in terms of strain, strain rate, or robustness, a new actuator type was developed. In its basic configuration, this actuator consisted of four layers and self-coiled into a helix after pre-stretching. The actuator principle was a dielectric polymer actuator. Instead of an elastomer, a thin thermoplastic film, in this case polyethylene, was used as the dielectric and the typically low potential strain was amplified more than 40 times by the helical set-up. In a hot press, the thermoplastic film was joined together with layers of carbon black employed as electrodes and a highly elastic thermoplastic polyurethane film. Once the stack was laser cut into thin strips, they were then stretched over the polyethylene (PE) film’s limit of elasticity and released, thus forming a helix. The manufactured prototype showed a maximum strain of 2% while lifting six times its own weight at actuation frequencies of 3 Hz, which is equivalent to a strain rate of 12%/s. This shows the great potential of the newly developed actuator type. Nevertheless, materials, geometry as well as the manufacturing process are still subject to optimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial muscle; dielectric polymer actuator; soft actuator; self-coiled actuator; self-sensing artificial muscle; dielectric polymer actuator; soft actuator; self-coiled actuator; self-sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mersch, J.; Koenigsdorff, M.; Nocke, A.; Cherif, C.; Gerlach, G. High-Speed, Helical and Self-Coiled Dielectric Polymer Actuator. Actuators 2021, 10, 15. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10010015

AMA Style

Mersch J, Koenigsdorff M, Nocke A, Cherif C, Gerlach G. High-Speed, Helical and Self-Coiled Dielectric Polymer Actuator. Actuators. 2021; 10(1):15. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10010015

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mersch, Johannes, Markus Koenigsdorff, Andreas Nocke, Chokri Cherif, and Gerald Gerlach. 2021. "High-Speed, Helical and Self-Coiled Dielectric Polymer Actuator" Actuators 10, no. 1: 15. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10010015

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