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A reduced order model for dielectric elastomer actuators over a range of frequencies and prestrains
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The actuation strain of an equibiaxially prestrained dielectric
elastomer membrane is studied as a function of driving frequency and prestrain. Experimental data are gathered on the membrane's creep and recovery following DC actuation, as well as the steady state amplitude and phase for AC driving voltages ranging from 2 to 40 Hz. The effect of prestretch on steady state actuation was also investigated, using membranes of both 250% and 300% prestretch. A three-element generalized Kelvin-Voigt model is developed to capture the transient and steady-state actuation responses as a function of frequency and prestrain. We show that, despite its relative simplicity, this model captures the relevant timescales for the membrane behavior with good fidelity and can be used to accurately predict the actuation magnitude and phase as a function of time over a range of actuation configurations and driving conditions.
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