Tribological Aspects of Electrode-Elastomer Contact
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Dielectric elastomers (DE) are soft polymers based smart materials that may be potentially employed in applications such as actuation, sensing and energy harvesting. The performance of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) depends on the material properties, but it is also a function of the actuator structure. Thus, electrodes need to be very compliant in order to oppose a minimum resistance to actuation strain. In this paper the authors present an investigation on the friction forces that may be responsible for restricting the strain actuation. Tribological measurements were done on elastomers covered with rigid copper electrodes. The results show that using a lubricant between elastomer and electrode material is needed in order to decrease the friction forces that help to obtain a good strain response of actuators.
- 2010 fascicula8 nr2