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dielectric elastomer membrane

Adrian S. J. Koh's picture

Journal Club Theme of August 2011: Energy Harvesting Using Soft Materials

Energy harvesting is the process of converting energy that will otherwise be dissipated into the ambient environment, into useful energy to do work.  I shall focus this discussion on motion-based energy harvesting.  Motion-based energy harvesting is the process of converting dissipated mechanical energy into electrical energy.  Sources of mechanical energy include the ocean waves, wind, human motion, vehicular traffic, and vibrations in buildings and bridges.  This source of energy is ubiquitous and pervasive, and yet, it is one of the least developed energy harvesting technology.

Equilibrium and stability of dielectric elastomer membranes undergoing inhomogeneous deformation

Dielectric elastomers are capable of large deformation subject to an electric voltage, and are promising for uses as actuators, sensors and generators. Because of large deformation, nonlinear equations of state, and diverse modes of failure, modeling the process of electromechanical transduction has been challenging.  This paper studies a membrane of a dielectric elastomer deformed into an out-of-plane, axisymmetric shape, a configuration used in a family of commercial devices known as the Universal Muscle Actuators. 

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