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Improvement of actuation performance of dielectric elastomers by barium titanate and carbon black fillers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number44116
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dielectric elastomers are promising materials for actuators resembling human muscle. Among elastomers, acrylic rubbers (ACM) have shown good actuation performance but its use is limited by the high operating voltages required. The present work demonstrates that simultaneous incorporation of nanostructured carbon black and dielectric fillers offers an increase in a dielectric permittivity and a suitable modulus of the elastomers matrix, enabling an improved electro-mechanical actuation performance at low voltages. By the use of reinforcing carbon black and barium titanate in an acrylic elastomer matrix a sixfold increase in the dielectric permittivity was realized. A fine tuning of the actuation stress and, consequently, actuation strain can be done by a judicial selection of the different filler concentrations in the soft rubber matrix. Finally, a synergistic effect of the fillers was observed in the improved actuation performance of the developed materials. This work may pave the way to design dielectric elastomers for actuator fabrication.


  • actuators, dielectric properties, elastomers

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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