Rolled Dielectric Polymer Actuators


  1. Massey, J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN);Bodycote Materials Testing Canada Inc, Mississauga Ont (CAN)
In this program we continued the previous work on the fabrication of dielectric actuators. When compliant electrodes applied to an elastomeric dielectric film in a dielectric actuator are charged, the electrodes attract, compressing the film and causing it to move in a direction perpendicular to the applied force. The geometry of the actuator was a long strip consisting of alternating dielectric and electrode layers, rolled up and electrically terminated to form the final device. In our previous work two main obstacles were encountered: conductivity through the middle dielectric layer and the ability to electrically terminate the device. By using silicone for the dielectric layer and a formulation based on carbon black milled with thermoplastic polyurethane as the electrode, termination of the device was reliable and consistent. However, conductivity through the middle dielectric layer is still an issue. Three actuators with nominal thickness of 200, 300, and 400µm that did not conduct through the middle layer were produced and submitted to the Scientific Authority. These could not be produced reliably however. We suspect that this inconsistency is related to the spray process used to fabricate the actuators. Further work should concentrate on improvements to the process for fabrication of actuators.

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Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-CR-2006-085 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 May 2006
Number of Pages

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