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Article

Design, Manufacturing, and Characterization of Thin, Core-Free, Rolled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators

1
Intelligent Materials Systems Lab, Department of Systems Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Saarland University, 66121 Saarbruecken, Germany
2
Intelligent Materials Systems Lab, Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technologies (ZeMA) gGmbH, 66121 Saarbruecken, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brittany Newell
Actuators 2021, 10(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10040069
Received: 11 February 2021 / Revised: 23 March 2021 / Accepted: 26 March 2021 / Published: 30 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electroactive Polymer Actuators)
In this work, we develop a coreless rolled dielectric elastomer actuator (CORDEA) to be used as artificial muscles in soft robotic structures. The new CORDEA concept is based on a 50 µm silicone film with screen-printed electrodes made of carbon black suspended in polydimethylsiloxane. Two printed silicone films are stacked together and then tightly rolled in a spiral-like structure. Readily available off-the-shelf components are used to implement both electrical and mechanical contacts. A novel manufacturing process is developed to enable the production of rolled actuators without a hollow core, with a focus on simplicity and reliability. In this way, actuator systems with high energy density can be effectively achieved. After presenting the design, an experimental evaluation of the CORDEA electromechanical behavior is performed. Finally, actuator experiments in which the CORDEA is pre-loaded with a mass load and subsequently subject to cycling voltage are illustrated, and the resulting performance is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectric; elastomer; actuators; DEA; rolled; silicone; compact; simple dielectric; elastomer; actuators; DEA; rolled; silicone; compact; simple
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kunze, J.; Prechtl, J.; Bruch, D.; Fasolt, B.; Nalbach, S.; Motzki, P.; Seelecke, S.; Rizzello, G. Design, Manufacturing, and Characterization of Thin, Core-Free, Rolled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators. Actuators 2021, 10, 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10040069

AMA Style

Kunze J, Prechtl J, Bruch D, Fasolt B, Nalbach S, Motzki P, Seelecke S, Rizzello G. Design, Manufacturing, and Characterization of Thin, Core-Free, Rolled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators. Actuators. 2021; 10(4):69. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10040069

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kunze, Julian, Johannes Prechtl, Daniel Bruch, Bettina Fasolt, Sophie Nalbach, Paul Motzki, Stefan Seelecke, and Gianluca Rizzello. 2021. "Design, Manufacturing, and Characterization of Thin, Core-Free, Rolled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators" Actuators 10, no. 4: 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10040069

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