Multilayer Actuator and Sensor Sheets with Smart Compliant Electrodes
Dielectric elastomer actuators with smart compliant electrodes (DESCE) combine position sensing and actuation in one macroscopic and mechanical uniform structure. The DESCE is a rubber band capable of extending upon application of an electrical potential, and at the same time allow for measurement of the extension. Compared to other smart materials and structures, the DESCE is second to only piezoelectric ceramics in this respect. A DESCE is a sheet of silicone elastomer actuator with microstructured electrodes on both sides. Such sheets may be used either as actuator upon application of a potential or as sensor by measuring the capacity of the film. We have assembled such sheets to form a multilayer actuator. One sheet is used as sensor and the others as actuators. The talk will describe performance and use of such actuators for control applications as well as their potential for use in space applications. That latter part was investigated in a project on Electroactive polymer actuators for the European Space Agency (ESA). The primary application considered is vibration damping of large lightweight structures in space. Basic materials properties as well as performance under space environment – vacuum, temperature, and radiation stability – will be discussed.
Pietro VINCENZINI, Yoseph BAR-COHEN and Federico CARPI
P. Sommer-Larsen et al., "Multilayer Actuator and Sensor Sheets with Smart Compliant Electrodes", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 61, pp. 169-179, 2008