A study of metalized electrode self-clearing in electroactive polymer (EAP) based actuators

Saad Ahmed, Zoubeida Ounaies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electroactive polymer (EAP) based technologies have shown promise in areas such as artificial muscles, actuator, aerospace, medical and soft robotics. Still challenges remain such as low induced forces and defects-driven electrical breakdown, which impede the practical implementation of this technology. Multilayered or stacked configuration can address the low induced force issue whereas self-clearing can be a technique to improve breakdown limit of EAP based actuators. Self-clearing refers to the partial local breakdown of dielectric medium due to the presence of impurities, which in turn results in the evaporation of some of the metalized electrode. After this evaporation, the impurity is cleared and any current path would be safely cut off, which means the actuator continues to perform. It is a widely studied concept in the capacitor community, while it has not been studied much for EAP technologies. In this paper we report a systematic approach to precondition a silver-metalized electroactive polymer (EAP), more specifically P(VDF-TrFE-CTFE) terpolymer, using self-clearing concept. First, we show improvement in the dielectric breakdown strength of EAP based unimorph actuators after pre-clearing the impurities using low electric field (lower than dielectric breakdown of the terpolymer). Inspired by this improvement, we used Weibull statistics to systematically estimate the self-clearing/ preconditioning field needed to clear the defects. Then electrical breakdown experiments are conducted with and without preconditioning the samples to investigate its effect on the breakdown strength of the sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016
EditorsFrederic Vidal, Yoseph Bar-Cohen
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600393
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Mar 21 2016Mar 24 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume9798
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Other

OtherElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016
CountryUnited States
CityLas Vegas
Period3/21/163/24/16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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