Experimental Analysis of Continuous Vibrations in Dielectric Elastomer Membrane Actuators via 3D Laser Vibrometry

[+] Author and Article Information
Sophie Nalbach

Eschberger Weg 46 Saarbrücken, 66121 Germany sophie.nalbach@imsl.uni-saarland.de

Gianluca Rizzello

c/o ZeMA gGmbH, Gewerbepark Eschberger Weg, Gebäude 9, 66121, Saarbrücken, Gebäude 9 Saarbruecken, Saarland 66121 Germany gianluca.rizzello@imsl.uni-saarland.de

Stefan Seelecke

Eschberger Weg 46, Gewerbepark Geb. 9 Saarbruecken, Saarland 66121 Germany stefan.seelecke@imsl.uni-saarland.de

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound of ASME for publication in the Journal of Vibration and Acoustics. Manuscript received August 6, 2018; final manuscript received April 30, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Miao Yu.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043715 History: Received August 06, 2018; Accepted April 30, 2019


Dielectric Elastomer (DE) membrane transducers are well known for exhibiting large deformations when subject to high voltage. Furthermore, DEs are characterized by an actuation bandwidth of several kHz, which allows their use in high-frequency applications, e.g., acoustic ones. The frequency response of DE membranes depends on many parameters, such as geometry, pre-stress, and electrode pattern. By properly designing such parameters, it is possible to control vibration modes and resonance frequencies of the membrane, opening up a number of application scenarios. Motivated by this fact, this work presents the first experimental study of continuous vibrations generated in DE membranes via high-voltage excitation. The system under investigation consists of a squared DE membrane with a circular electrode, pre-loaded out-of-plane with a linear spring. Vibrations are generated by applying a broadband high-voltage signal to the DE membrane. A 3D laser vibrometer is used to reconstruct the three-dimensional oscillations of scanning points on the membrane surface. Experimental investigations are performed to study the effects of DE geometry and pre-stress on the membrane motion, in terms of resulting frequency spectrum and vibration modes.

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