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Dielectric elastomers of interpenetrating networks

Zhigang Suo's picture

Recent experiments have shown that a voltage can induce a large deformation in an elastomer of interpenetrating networks. We describe a model of interpenetrating networks of long and short chains. As the voltage ramps up, the elastomer may undergo a snap-through instability. The network with long chains fills the space and keeps elastomer compliant at small to modest deformation. The network with short chains acts as a safety net that restrains the elastomer from thinning down excessively, averting electrical breakdown.  It appears possible to find a dielectric elastomer capable of giant deformation of actuation.  You can read the paper, or take a look at the slides posted here.

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