Design Optimization of Magneto-active Elastomer Unimorph Actuator for Shape Programming

Tan Pan, Mary Frecker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this study, a magneto-active elastomer (MAE) unimorph actuator is optimally designed for shape programming. An optimization design approach for the MAE unimorph actuator is developed to design the geometry and material properties of the structure. Within the design optimization, a previously developed and validated analytical model is applied to predict the actuation performance of MAE unimorph actuator under a user-specified external magnetic field. This model considers the unimorph as a segmented beam with large deflections and approximates the response of the material to the magnetic field as segment-wise applied torques. Then a single objective function representing the shape error is minimized using a genetic algorithm (GA). The multi-objective non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II) is also implemented to maximize both normalized free deflection and blocked force. A Pareto set of optimal solutions is obtained and the best design can be selected based on application requirements. This work has the potential to provide tailorable shape change in medical device applications that require adjustments over time such as changing patient anatomy as treatment progresses. The devices can be actuated under an external magnetic field without wires or human interference. Additive manufacturing can realize the feasibility of fabrication for the designed MAE unimorph actuator by printing complex geometry and spatially tailored magnetic and mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials XVII
EditorsAimy Wissa, Mariantonieta Gutierrez Soto, Russell W. Mailen
ISBN (Electronic)9781510660755
StatePublished - 2023
EventBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials XVII 2023 - Long Beach, United States
Duration: Mar 13 2023Mar 14 2023

Publication series

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


ConferenceBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials XVII 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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