WIT Press

A Novel Fabrication Set-up For The Flexible Production Of Silicone Based EAP \“artificial Muscle” Actuators


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289 - 300




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Paper DOI



WIT Press


O. A. Araromi, A. T. Conn, C. S. Ling, S. C. Burgess & R. Vaidyanathan


This paper presents a novel fabrication set-up for producing silicone based EAP \“artificial muscle” actuators which is relatively simple, flexible and well suited to low volume production. The required apparatus can be constructed quickly and at a low cost compared to competing techniques. The set-up can produce multi-layered configurations for applications that require greater actuator strain or stress. The set-up has also been demonstrated to produce individual polymer layers less than 100m thick, which is beneficial as for a given input voltage actuator performance improves with decreasing layer thickness. A case study is presented to demonstrate the quality of the set-up and a potential bio-inspired application of the fabricated actuator is outlined. Keywords: electroactive polymer, dielectric elastomer, micro air vehicle. 1 Introduction Electroactive polymers (EAPs) are high strain actuators based on the deformation of polymeric materials under electrical stimulation. EAPs are a rapidly developing technology and are attracting interest because of their inherent compliance, light weight properties, simple actuation mechanisms and large energy densities. Moreover, unlike other traditional actuation technologies, such as pneumatic or hydraulic actuators, EAP actuators do not require large or bulky peripheral devices, such as pumps or compressors. Dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) type EAPs in particular have been shown to have very large


electroactive polymer, dielectric elastomer, micro air vehicle