School of Engineering and Computational Sciences
Dielectric Elastomer Actuators, Compliant Electrodes, Smart Materials
Engineering | Mechanical Engineering
Morrone, Adam, "Construction Techniques and Statistical Analysis of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators" (2018). Senior Honors Theses. 766.
In this study, a series of experiments were conducted to investigate and improve upon existing construction methods of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs). First, a proof of concept was built, which utilized a DEA as an active diaphragm to reproduce sound. Next, two electrode sizes and construction methods were compared via statistical analysis of electrode strain. In an attempt to develop an easier and more efficacious electrode construction method, the substance used for electrodes was then dissolved in six solvents. A commercially available graphite spray was compared against the solutions and determined to be the most promising on the basis of measured surface conductivity and observed particle dispersion. Finally, an actuator was tested with graphite spray electrodes; it was discovered that the spray hardens when dried and was thus not able to produce in-plane deformation.