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The University of Southampton

Research project: Dielectric Electro-Active Polymers: Vibration Control Application

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Can soft polymeric actuators be used for active vibration control?

Dielectric Electro-Active Polymers (DEAPs) are lightweight materials whose dimensions change significantly when subjected to electric stimulation.  One form of DEAP construction consists of a thin layer of dielectric sandwiched between two electrodes. The construction is then corrugated so that under the application of an electric field, there is a substantial change in the length of the material.

They can be used as an actuator or a sensor and have the potential to be an effective replacement for many conventional actuators. One particular actuator is made by rolling the corrugated laminate into a cylinder. Under the application of a voltage the length of the cylinder increases.

DEAP devices have been used traditionally for low frequency applications. The aim of this project is to characterise the material and devices over a wider frequency range, up to 1kHz or so, and to then investigate their potential application to vibration control. This involves using them as an active element.

Materials and devices are provided by Danfoss PolyPower A/S.


Related research groups

Dynamics Group



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