Thickness effects in electroactive polymers actuators: A simple explanation and modeling

K. Yuse, D. Guyomar, M. Kanda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


For practical use, the electrical field requirements of Electro Active Polymer (EAP) actuators have to be lowered down. Recently, we developed nano carbon filled polymeric films which can generate a large strain (30-50%) at moderate electrical field (less than 20 MV/m). Herein, the electrostrictive strain saturates versus electrical field and that the maximum strain depends strongly on the sample thickness. Combining polarization saturation effect and heterogeneities in the polymer thickness lead to a model that describes correctly the strain behavior versus electrical field, polymer thickness and frequency. A three-layer model was established which assumes that the polymer is not homogeneous along the thickness. Two outer and one inner layers exist, which must be formed during the polymer curing. It is considered that these layers have slightly different characteristics, such as permittivity. When the electrical field is input parallel to the polymer thickness, a different strain would take place in each layer according to the field distribution. Since the layers are attached together, the strain must be the same in each layer. Consequently stresses appear in the different layers. Introducing in this model a saturation of the polarization for high field leads to simulation results that fit well the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2011
ISBN (Print)9780819485465
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


  • Conductive fillers
  • Electrical property
  • Electro Active Polymer (EAP)
  • Electrostrictive
  • Nano carbon
  • Three-layer model


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