DEVELOPMENT OF A DIELECTRIC ELECTRO ACTIVE POLYMER ROLL ACTUATOR WITH DIFFERENT BIASING ELEMENTS
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This thesis presents the fabrication and characterization of a tubular Dielectric Electro-Active Polymer (DEAP) actuator system using different biasing mechanisms. DEAPs are attractive in the aerospace community due to their light weight, low electrical power consumption and no noise. A biasing mechanism is needed to supply the DEAP actuator with an optimal pre-load, and its design has a major impact on the overall actuator performance. The biasing elements considered are a conventional linear positive-stiffness bias (PSB) spring, and a constant force bias (CFB) spring. These biasing elements are paired with a roll DEAP actuator and experimentally tested under quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions with a focus on the stroke and blocked force capabilities. The experimental results indicate improvement in stroke using a CFB element but at the cost of blocked force. Work potential is found higher using a PSB than a CFB mechanism.