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Vegetable fillers for electric stimuli responsive elastomers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number45081
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number28
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) have been studied widely in recent years for artificial muscle applications, but their implementation into production is limited due to high operating voltages required. The actuation behavior of dielectric elastomer under an applied electric field is predicted by Maxwell's pressure and thickness strain equations. According to these equations, the best electromechanical response is achieved when the relative permittivity is high and elastic modulus is low. The potential source for additives increasing the relative permittivity of rubbers can be vegetable powders that have much higher dielectric constant than common elastomers. In the present research, the dielectric and actuation properties of polyacrylate rubber (ACM) were studied after the addition of different vegetable-based fillers such as potato starch, corn starch, garlic, and paprika. The results were compared to ACM filled with barium titanate. The compounds containing vegetable fillers showed higher relative dielectric permittivity at 1 Hz frequency than the compounds containing barium titanate due to higher interfacial polarization. The actuation studies showed that lower electric fields are required to generate certain actuation forces when the starches and garlic are used in the rubber instead of barium titanate. Therefore, the vegetable-based fillers can be used to improve actuation performance of DEAs.


  • biomaterials, dielectric properties, elastomers, mechanical properties, sensors and actuators

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland