Electromechanical coupling behavior of dielectric elastomer composites
MetadataShow full item record
Dielectric elastomers have gained substantial interest in the past few decades under research efforts aimed to improve electromechanical transducer technology. This material is often termed a “smart material” due to its intrinsic transduction properties, allowing the elastomer to deform in response to electric stimulation. High mechanical compliance, lightweight, low cost, and the ability to achieve enormous voltage induced strains make dielectric elastomers excellent candidates to serve as electromechanical transducers, both as high efficiency actuators and energy harvesters. This work is focused on increasing the transduction efficiency of dielectric elastomers, strengthening their potential effectiveness as a transducer. To enhance the electrostriction of the material, a composite concept is introduced where rigid conducting fibrous electrodes are embedded into the dielectric. A combined theoretical and numerical modeling framework is developed to analyze the electromechanical behavior of several different composite arrangements. In order to examine the large mechanical deformations of the elastomer, a finite deformation theory is required for the description of the material behavior. To describe the material free energy, a compressible Neo-Hookean model is utilized. The finite element method is used for the numerical solution technique to the boundary value problem.