Self-clearing dielectric elastomer actuators using charcoal-powder electrodes

Gih Keong Lau*, Soo Lim Chua, Li Lynn Shiau, Adrian Wei Yee Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study found that compliant electrodes using charcoal powder enable self clearing property to dielectric elastomer actuator. Charcoal powder is applied as compliant electrodes by smearing on a 100% bi-axially pre-stretched dielectric elastomer membrane (VHB 9473), with nominal pre-stretched thickness of 62.3 μm. This DEA using charcoal-powder electrodes can sustain up 10 kV without terminal breakdown, while those using graphite or silver grease break down at slightly above 2 kV. It is noted that this DEA using charcoal-powder has maximum areal strain at about 45 % at 4 kV, beyond which the strain does not increase further for reduced electrical conductivity. The dielectric elastomer actuator using the charcoal-powder electrodes generate less actuation strain than that using the graphite. However, the former can produce a large actuation stress as it can driven to a higher driving voltage without pre-mature breakdown.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, EAPAD 2012
ISBN (Print)9780819489975
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012
EventSPIE Electroactive Polymers Actuators and Devices Conference, EAPAD 2012 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 12 Mar 201215 Mar 2012

Publication series

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


ConferenceSPIE Electroactive Polymers Actuators and Devices Conference, EAPAD 2012
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Dielectric elastomer actuator
  • charcoal
  • compliant electrode
  • fault tolerant
  • self clearing

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