Experimental study and simulation on displacement of soft dielectric elastomer actuators

Karaman İ., Şahin D. E.

Proceedings Of The Romanian Academy Series A-Mathematics Physics Technical Sciences Information Science, vol.22, no.4/2021, pp.361-370, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)


Dielectric elastomer (DE) is a type of polymer that provides deformation by applying electrical voltage. There are many factors that affect the performance of DE, such as voltage, pre-stretching, frequency type applied, and frequency size. In this study, displacement changes with time resulting from the applied voltages in a circular dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) were first determined experimentally, and then predicted numerically. In order to reveal the deformation behavior of DEA quantitatively, two significant factors, such as voltage and frequency were considered in the scope of this study. Experimental results showed that both voltage and frequency play a very important role in the displacement of DEA. Numerical predictions and experimental measurements found in this study provides in-depth information to researchers for controlling the deformation behavior of DEA depending on the arranging of these two key parameters. The attained results were elucidated that the deformation behavior of DEA is considerably influenced by the frequency type and frequency amplitude. The numerical analysis was implemented utilizing the Yeoh hyperelastic material model in commercial finite element code Abaqus. The experimental outcomes were favorably compared to the numerical predictions. It was found that the square waveform causes the faster and higher displacement in DEA in comparison with other waveforms including triangle and sine. Furthermore, it was observed that an increase in pre-stretching leads to an enhancement in the deformation of DEA. Nevertheless, experiencing the breakdowns by DEA experiences at very high voltages was revealed.