A dilatometer based on the cantilever beam concept has been developed. The dilatometer is easy to use and capable of measuring transverse strain response of soft polymer films in a broad strain range (from 10-7 to 10-1) without mechanical constraining of the sample. It is capable of detecting strain over a relatively wide frequency range from mHz to above 100 Hz under different load and temperature. Using the setup, the electric field induced transverse strains of the electrostrictive poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) copolymer films were characterized which shows that a large transverse strain can be achieved in this class of polymer. In addition, the effect of mechanical tensile load on the transverse strain was also evaluated and the results show that the strain response will be affected by the load. However, depending on the load level, the strain response of the polymer film under a given electric field may increase or decrease with load. Based on the phenomenological theory, it is shown that for a ferroelectric based material, the mechanical load will shift the Curie temperature. Hence, to a large extent, the change of the strain response with load observed here can be understood by linking it to the strain change with temperature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)