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S Ahmadi, A Camacho Mattos, A Barbazza, M Soleimani, P Boscariol and C Menon
Fabrication and performance analysis of a DEA cuff designed for dry-suit applications
Smart Materials and Structures 22 (2013), doi:10.1088/0964-1726/22/3/035002

Abstract: A method for manufacturing a cylindrical dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) is presented. The cylindrical DEA can be used in fabricating the cuff area of dry-suits where the garment is very tight and wearing the suit is difficult. When electrically actuated, the DEA expands radially and the suit can be worn more comfortably. In order to study the performance of the DEA, a customized testing setup was designed, and silicone-made cuff samples with different material stiffnesses were tested. Analytical and FEM modeling were considered to evaluate the experimental output. The results revealed that although the stiffness of the DEA material has a direct relationship with the radial constrictive pressure caused by mechanically stretching the DEA, it has a minor effect on the actuation pressure. It was also found that stacking multiple layers of the DEA to fabricate a laminated structure enabled the attainment of a desired variation of pressure required for the implementation of an electrically tunable cuff.


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