Inhibiting electro-thermal breakdown of acrylic dielectric elastomer actuators by dielectric gel coating

Thanh Giang La, Gih Keong Lau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electrical breakdown of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) is very localized; a spark and a pinhole (puncture) in dielectric ends up with short-circuit. This letter shows that prevention of electrothermal breakdown helps defer failure of DEAs even with conductive-grease electrodes. Dielectric gel encapsulation or coating (Dow Corning 3-4170) helps protect acrylic elastomer (VHB 4905), making it thermally more stable and delaying its thermal oxidation (burn) from 218 °C to 300 °C. Dielectric-gel-coated acrylic DEAs can withstand higher local leak-induced heating and thus achieve higher dielectric strengths than non-coated DEAs do.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12903
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume108
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Jan 2016

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