elastomeric diaphragm pump driven by fluid electrode dielectric elastomer actuators
Name: Caleb Michael Christianson
Grad Year: 2018
Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) have gathered interest due to their low cost, large strains, and high energy density. However, developing reliable, compliant electrodes for DEAs remains an open problem due to challenges with patterning robust conductors that do not appreciably stiffen the actuators. In this work, we present a method for utilizing fluid electrodes to drive a DEA diaphragm pump. We have used this process to develop an elastomeric pump with few moving parts, obviating the need for maintenance and lubrication required of many mechanical pumps. This research may help enable low-cost, silent elastomeric pumps for soft robotics, biomedical, or microfluidics applications.
Industry Application Area(s)
Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials | Robotics