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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Colour changing electro active polymer systems

Hediyeh, Zahabi January 2017 (has links)
Dielectric elastomers are electroactive polymers, which change size and shape in response to an electrical field. Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are highly promising new technologies in optical applications such as tuneable optical lenses, diffraction gratings and active camouflage. This thesis aims to develop a new approach to create a strain actuated compliant colour changing device that is controlled using DEAs as they offer stretchability, low weight, high efficiency, low cost and the possibility for miniaturisation. Conventional DEAs use transparent elastomeric materials with no significant colour change with strain. Conversely, liquid crystal materials are known to display dynamic colour changing behaviour, thereby making them good candidate materials. The thesis examines both the potential for colour changing soft actuators and the upcoming challenges in this field as well as the key concepts around liquid crystals that exhibit colour change. An initial approach was aimed at creating colour changes using dielectric elastomer actuators that drove a masked positioner. This method showed colour change since the mask changes the colour visualisation. The second approach used polymer dispersed liquid crystals, such as a nematic liquid crystal within a reactive silicone resin. The immiscibility of these compounds resulted in a dispersion of the liquid crystal droplets in the silicone matrix. However, the optical properties could not be controlled through mechanical deformation alone and the alignment of resulting LC droplets in the PDLC films was sensitive to the substrate used to perform the actuation. The next approach used reactive cholesteric liquid crystals (CLC) instead. A thin film coating process was preferred to carefully control the film's thickness by stretching. In free standing films a planar cholesteric alignment was obtained with mesogens aligned parallel to the substrate and colour was achieved based on the selective reflection of light. A transfer print technique was introduced to combine CLC coatings with elastomeric substrates that can be stretched. However, no colour change was achieved in response to mechanical deformation primarily due to the modulus and strength mismatch between the thin film and the elastomeric susbstrate material. Finally, lightly crosslinked liquid crystal elastomers using a combination of reactive and non-reactive liquid crystals were produced that were compatible with elastomer substrate materials. In free standing films planar cholesteric alignment was obtained with mesogens aligned parallel to the substrate. Successfully a reversible colour change based on selective reflection of light was achieved in response to a mechanical deformation.

Nonlinear Electromechanical Deformation of Isotropic and Anisotropic Electro-Elastic Materials

Son, Seyul 08 September 2011 (has links)
Electro-active polymers (EAPs) have emerged as a new class of active materials, which produce large deformations in response to an electric stimulus. EAPs have attractive characteristics of being lightweight, inexpensive, stretchable, and flexible. Additionally, EAPs are conformable, and their properties can be tailored to satisfy a broad range of requirements. These advantages have enabled many target applications in actuation and sensing. A general constitutive formulation for isotropic and anisotropic electro-active materials is developed using continuum mechanics framework and invariant theory. Based on the constitutive law, electromechanical stability of the electro-elastic materials is investigated using convexity and polyconvexity conditions. Implementation of the electro-active material model into a commercial finite element software (ABAQUS 6.9.1, PAWTUCKET, RI, USA) is presented. Several boundary and initial value problems are solved to investigate the actuation and sensing response of isotropic and anisotropic dielectric elastomers (DEs) subject to combined mechanical and electrical loads. The numerical response is compared with experimental results to validate the theoretical model. For the constitutive formulation of the electro-elastic materials, invariants for the coupling between two families of electro-active fibers (or particles) and the applied electric field are introduced. The effect of the orientation of the electro-active fibers and the electric field on the electromechanical coupling is investigated under equibiaxial extension. Advantage of the constitutive formulation derived in this research is that the electromechanical coupling can be illustrated easily by choosing invariants for the deformation gradient tensor, the electro-active fibers, and the electric field. For the electromechanical stability, it is shown that the stability can be controlled by tuning the material properties and the orientation of the electro-active fibers. The electromechanical stability condition is useful to build a stable free energy function and prevent the instabilities (wrinkling and electric breakdown) for the electro-elastic materials. The invariant-based constitutive formulation for the electro-elastic materials including the isotropic and anisotropic DEs is implemented into a user subroutine (UMAT in ABAQUS: user defined material) by using multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient and the applicability of the UMAT is shown by simulating a complicated electromechanical coupling problem in ABAQUS/CAE. Additionally, the static and dynamic sensing and actuation response of tubular DE transducers (silicone and polyacrylate materials) with respect to combined electrical and mechanical stimuli is obtained experimentally. It is shown that the silicone samples have better dynamic and static sensing characteristics than the polyacrylate. The theoretical modeling accords well with the experimental results. / Ph. D.

Entirely soft dielectric elastomer robots

Henke, E.-F. Markus, Wilson, Katherine E., Anderson, Iain A. 06 September 2019 (has links)
Multifunctional Dielectric Elastomer (DE) devices are well established as actuators, sensors and energy harvesters. Since the invention of the Dielectric Elastomer Switch (DES), a piezoresistive electrode that can directly switch charge on and off, it has become possible to expand the wide functionality of DE structures even more. We show the application of fully soft DE subcomponents in biomimetic robotic structures. It is now possible to couple arrays of actuator/switch units together so that they switch charge between themselves on and off. One can then build DE devices that operate as self-controlled oscillators. With an oscillator one can produce a periodic signal that controls a soft DE robot { a DE device with its own DE nervous system. DESs were fabricated using a special electrode mixture, and imprinting technology at an exact pre-strain. We have demonstrated six orders of magnitude change in conductivity within the DES over 50% strain. The control signal can either be a mechanical deformation from another DE or an electrical input to a connected dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA). We have demonstrated a variety of fully soft multifunctional subcomponents that enable the design of autonomous soft robots without conventional electronics. The combination of digital logic structures for basic signal processing, data storage in dielectric elastomer ip-ops and digital and analogue clocks with adjustable frequencies, made of dielectric elastomer oscillators (DEOs), enables fully soft, self-controlled and electronics-free robotic structures. DE robotic structures to date include stiff frames to maintain necessary pre-strains enabling sufficient actuation of DEAs. Here we present a design and production technology for a first robotic structure consisting only of soft silicones and carbon black.

Conception et fabrication d'actionneurs en polymère diélectrique bistables et antagonistes

Chouinard, Patrick January 2010 (has links)
La légèreté, simplicité et robustesse des systèmes mécaniques binaires font en sorte qu'ils sont une alternative prometteuse aux systèmes analogiques employés de nos jours dans des applications en robotique et en mécatronique. Les performances de systèmes mécaniques binaires sont présentement restreintes par la complexité, le poids et le coût des actionneurs conventionnels. De nouvelles technologies d'actionneurs, telles celles des matériaux intelligents (Smart Materials), doivent donc être développées afin de permettre l'essor et la commercialisation de systèmes binaires performants. Les actionneurs diélectriques en polymère (Dielectric Elastomer Actuators : DEA) sont capables de grandes déformations et de hautes énergies volumiques. Toutefois, l'application de cette technologie d'actionneurs à des systèmes binaires concrets est présentement limitée par la faible fiabilité de ces actionneurs et les faibles énergies volumiques développées par les configurations de DEAs actuelles. Afin de permettre l'avancée de la technologie des DEAs dans des applications binaires, cette recherche propose des configurations antagonistes et bistables qui développent ~10x plus d'énergie volumique que les configurations bistables développées antérieurement. De plus, cette recherche investigue les impacts des techniques de fabrication sur la fiabilité des actionneurs.

Dielectric elastomer actuation performance enhancement, higher order modelling and self-sensing control

Zhang, Runan January 2017 (has links)
There is a growing interest in the field of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs).A DEA consists of a thin DE lm coated with a compliant electrode. It expandsin planar directions and contracts in thickness under a driving voltage. Becauseof the similar actuation capability compared with human muscles, it is oftenreferred as artificial muscle. One possible application is to integrate the DEA inwearable devices for tremor suppression. In this thesis, the development of theDEA has been advanced towards this application in three aspects: performanceenhancement, modelling accuracy and self-sensing control. The results presented demonstrate that the combination of pre-strain and motion constraining enhances the force output of the DEA significantly but it also leads to the pre-mature electric breakdown that shortens the operational life. This drawback was suppressed by optimising the electrode configuration to avoid the electrically weak regions with low thickness across the DE lm, together with the lead contact o the active electrode region. The durability of the enhanced DEA was therefore improved significantly. Polyacrylate, a commonly used DE, was characterised for dynamic mechanical loading and electrical actuation. The conventional Kelvin-Voigt model was proved to be deficient in simulating the viscoelastic behaviour of polyacrylate in the frequency domain. The error in modelling was substantially reduced using a higher material model that contains multiple spring-damper combinations. It allows the system dynamics to be shaped over frequency ranges. A detailed procedure was given to guide the parameter identification in higher order material model. A novel self-sensing mechanism that does not require superposition of drivingvoltage and excitation signal was also designed. It reconfigures the conventionalDEA to have separate electrode regions for sensing and actuating. As the DElm deforms under driving voltage, the capacitive change in the electrode regionfor sensing was measured via a capacitor bridge and used as the feedback foractuation control. The self-sensing DEA can, therefore, be implemented with anyhigh voltage power supply. Moreover, the sensing performance is demonstratedto have improved consistency without interference of the electrical field. It alsohas a unique feature of DE lm wrinkling detection.

Enabling wearable soft tactile displays with dielectric elastomer actuators

Frediani, Gabriele January 2018 (has links)
Touch is one of the less exploited sensory channels in human machine interactions. While the introduction of the tactile feedback would improve the user experience in several fields, such as training for medical operators, teleoperation, computer aided design and 3D model exploration, no interfaces able to mimic accurately and realistically the tactile feeling produced by the contact with a real soft object are currently available. Devices able to simulate the contact with soft bodies, such as the human organs, might improve the experience. The existing commercially available tactile displays consist of complex mechanisms that limit their portability. Moreover, no devices are able to provide tactile stimuli via a soft interface that can also modulate the contact area with the finger pad, which is required to realistically mimic the contact with soft bodies, as needed for example in systems aimed at simulating interactions with virtual biological tissues or in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. The aim of this thesis is to develop such a wearable tactile display based on the dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs). DEAs are a class of materials that respond to an electric field producing a deformation. In particular, in this thesis, the tactile element consists of a so-called hydrostatically coupled dielectric elastomer actuator (HC-DEAs). HC-DEAs rely on an incompressible fluid that hydrostatically couples a DEA-based active part to a passive part interfaced to the user. The display was also tested within a closed-loop configuration consisting of a hand tracking system and a custom made virtual environment. This proof of concept system allowed for a validation of the abilities of the display. Mechanical and psychophysical tests were performed in order to assess the ability of the system to provide tactile stimuli that can be distinguished by the users. Also, the miniaturisation of the HC-DEA was investigated for applications in refreshable Braille displays or arrays of tactile elements for tactile maps.

Active Surfaces and Interfaces of Soft Materials

Wang, Qiming January 2014 (has links)
<p>A variety of intriguing surface patterns have been observed on developing natural systems, ranging from corrugated surface of white blood cells at nanometer scales to wrinkled dog skins at millimeter scales. To mimetically harness functionalities of natural morphologies, artificial transformative skin systems by using soft active materials have been rationally designed to generate versatile patterns for a variety of engineering applications. The study of the mechanics and design of these dynamic surface patterns on soft active materials are both physically interesting and technologically important. </p><p>This dissertation starts with studying abundant surface patterns in Nature by constructing a unified phase diagram of surface instabilities on soft materials with minimum numbers of physical parameters. Guided by this integrated phase diagram, an electroactive system is designed to investigate a variety of electrically-induced surface instabilities of elastomers, including electro-creasing, electro-cratering, electro-wrinkling and electro-cavitation. Combing experimental, theoretical and computational methods, the initiation, evolution and transition of these instabilities are analyzed. To apply these dynamic surface instabilities to serving engineering and biology, new techniques of Dynamic Electrostatic Lithography and electroactive anti-biofouling are demonstrated.</p> / Dissertation

Material Characterization of a Dielectric Elastomer for the Design of a Linear Actuator

Helal, Alexander Tristan January 2017 (has links)
Electrical motors and/or hydraulics and pneumatics cylinders are commonly used methods of actuation in mechanical systems. Over the last two decades, due to arising market needs, novel self-independent mobile systems such as mobility assistive devices have emerged with the help of new advancements in technology. The actuation criteria for these devices differ greatly from typical mechanical systems, which has made the implementation of classical actuators difficult within modern assistive devices. Among the numerous challenges, limited energy storage capabilities by mobile systems have restricted their achievable operational time. Furthermore, new expectations for device weight and volume, as well as actuator structural compliance, have added to this quandary. Electroactive polymers, a category of smart materials, have emerged as a strong contender for the use in low-cost efficient actuators. They have demonstrated great potential in soft robotic and assistive device/prosthetic applications due to their actuation potential and similar mechanical behaviour to human skeletal muscles. Dielectric Elastomers, in particular, have shown very promising properties for these types of applications. Their structures have shown large achievable deformation, while remaining light-weight, mechanically efficient, and low-cost. This thesis aims to characterize, and model the behaviour of 3MTM VHB polyacrylic dielectric elastomer, in order to establish a foundation for its implementation in a proposed novel linear actuator concept. In this thesis, a comprehensive experimental evaluation is accomplished, which resulted in the better understanding of the elastomer’s biaxial mechanical and electro-mechanically coupled behaviours. Subsequently, a constitutive biaxial mechanical model was derived in order to provide a predictive design equation for future actuator development. This model proved effective in providing a predictive tool for the biaxial mechanical tensile response of the material. Finally, a simplified prototype was devised as a proof of concept. This first iteration applied experimental findings to validate the working principles behind the proposed actuator design. The results confirmed the proof of concept, through achieved reciprocal linear motion, and provided insight into the design considerations for prototype optimization and final actuator development.

Modellierung und Simulation des thermo-elektro-mechanischen Verhaltens von dielektrischen Elastomeraktoren

Kleo, Mario 22 September 2021 (has links)
In der vorliegenden Dissertationsschrift wird ein thermo-elektro-mechanisches Modell zur Simulation des Verhaltens von dielektrischen Elastomeraktoren vorgestellt. Zur Beschreibung der elektrischen und thermischen Eigenschaften werden lineare Modelle verwendet. Ein isotropes viskohyperelastisches mechanisches Materialmodell wird auf Grundlage der Hyperelastizität nach Ogden und der Beschreibung viskosen Verhaltens mittels Prony-Reihen eingesetzt. Die elektromechanische Kopplung ist durch die elektrostatische Anziehungskraft geladener Elektroden begründet. Die verlustbehafteten Prozesse der elektromechanischen Energieumwandlung bzw. des Ladungstransports führen zu einer Verlustleistung, welche in Wärme umgewandelt wird. Auf diese Weise wird eine unidirektionale Kopplung zwischen dem elektromechanischen und dem thermischen Feld erreicht. Die entsprechenden Materialparameter wurden der Literatur entnommen oder von Daten experimenteller Untersuchungen abgeleitet, welche am Institut für Elektromechanische Konstruktion (EMK) der Technischen Universität Darmstadt durchgeführt wurden. Mittels der Finite-Elemente-Methode wurde das thermo-elektro-mechanischen Modell zur Simulation zweier Testgeometrien verwendet. Dabei wurde eine gute qualitative Übereinstimmungen zwischen den Ergebnissen der numerisch Simulation und den experimentellen Beobachtungen des EMK erreicht. Die Ursachen quantitativer Differenzen zwischen den experimentell ermittelten und den numerisch berechneten Temperaturen werden untersucht und diskutiert. Abgeleitet aus den Ergebnissen der numerischen Untersuchungen werden abschließend Vorschläge zu einer Verringerung der dissipationsbedingten Erwärmung unterbreitet. Diese Vorschläge sind durch konstruktive, beispielsweise geometrische oder materielle, Eigenschaften von DE-Aktoren begründet, oder können aufgrund der aktiven Anregung getroffen werden.

Electromechanical Characterization of the Static and Dynamic Response of Dielectric Elastomer Membranes

Fox, Jason William 25 October 2007 (has links)
Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are a relatively new electroactive polymer (EAP) transducer technology. They are capable of over 100% strain when actuated, and can be used as sensors to measure large strains. In actuation mode, the DE is subject to an electric field; in sensing mode, the capacitance of the dielectric elastomer is measured. In this work, a dielectric elastomer configured as a circular membrane clamped around its outer edge over a sealed chamber and inflated by a bias pressure is studied in order to characterize its static and dynamic electromechanical behavior. In both cases, the experiments were conducted with prestretched dielectric elastomer actuators fabricated from 0.5 mm or 1 mm thick polyacrylate films and unless stated otherwise carbon grease electrodes were used. The static tests investigate the effect of flexible electrodes and passive layers on the electromechanical response of dielectric elastomer membrane actuators and sensors. To study the effect of the flexible electrodes, four compliant electrodes were tested: carbon grease, silver grease, graphite spray, and graphite powder. The electrode experiments show that carbon grease is the most effective electrode of those tested. To protect the flexible electrodes from environmental hazards, the effect of adding passive elastic layers to the transducers was investigated. A series of tests were conducted whereby the position of the added layers relative to the transducer was varied: (i) top passive layer, (ii) bottom passive layer, and (iii) passive layers on both the bottom and top of the transducer. For the passive layer tests, the results show that adding elastic layers made of the same material as the DE dramatically changes both the mechanical and electrical response of the actuator. The ability to use capacitance measurements to determine the membrane's maximum stretch was also investigated. The experiments demonstrate that the capacitance response can be used to sense large mechanical strains in the membrane ï ³ 25%. In addition, a numerical model was developed which correlates very well with the experimental results especially for strains up to 41%. The dynamic experiments investigate the dynamic response of a dielectric elastomer membrane due to (i) a time-varying pressure input and (ii) a time-varying voltage input. For the time-varying pressure experiments, the prestretched membrane was inflated and deflated mechanically while a constant voltage was applied. The membrane was cycled between various predetermined inflation states, the largest of which was nearly hemispherical, which with an applied constant voltage of 3 kV corresponded to a maximum strain at the pole (center of membrane) of 28%. These experiments show that for higher voltages, the volume displaced by the membrane increases and the pressure inside the chamber decreases. For the time varying voltage experiments, the membrane was passively inflated to various predetermined states, and then actuated. Various experiments were conducted to see how varying certain system parameters changed the membrane's dynamic response. These included changing the chamber volume and voltage signal offset, as well as measuring the displacement of multiple points along the membrane's radius in order to capture its entire motion. The chamber volume experiments reveal that increasing the size of the chamber onto which the membrane is clamped will cause the resonance peaks to shift and change in number. For these experiments, the pole strains incurred during the inflation were as high as 26 %, corresponding to slightly less than a hemispherical state. Upon actuation using a voltage signal with an amplitude of 1.5 kV, the membrane would inflate further, causing a maximum additional strain of 12.1%. The voltage signal offset experiments show that adding offset to the input signal causes the membrane to oscillate at two distinct frequencies rather than one. Lastly, experiments to capture the entire motion of the membrane revealed the different mode shapes the membrane's motion resembles. / Master of Science

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