Quasi-static and dynamic inflation of a dielectric elastomer membrane actuator

Nakhiah Goulbourne, Mary Frecker, Eric Mockensturm

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper presents quasi-static and dynamic results for dielectric elastomer actuators subject to a uniform mechanical pressure and an applied voltage. The numerical quasi-static results are compared to experimental data for actuators made from 3M VHB material. It is shown that the theoretical model for the active inflation of hyperelastic membranes is sensitive to the explicit form of the assumed strain energy function. The optimal constants of 2-Term and 3-Term Ogden models are determined from uniaxial and biaxial stress experimental data. Using the best overall values for the material constants, the electro-elastic model is used to predict the voltage-dependent behavior for the inflation of dielectric elastomer actuators. The correlation between the numerical results and the experimental data is good. In previous work, inertial effects have been neglected and a quasi-static approach employed. The method is presently expanded to include the dynamic response of dielectric elastomer actuators. In this case inertial effects become increasingly important as different equilibria modes are obtained during dynamic operation. The results show the potential for voltage-controlled bifurcations during the inflation of spherical dielectric elastomer actuators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
Pages (from-to)302-313
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2005 - Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 7 2005Mar 10 2005

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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