Dielectric elastomers have received a great deal of attention recently for effectively transforming electrical energy to mechanical work. Their large strains and conformability make them enticing materials for many new types of actuators. Unfortunately, their non-linear material behavior and large deformations make actual devices difficult to model. However, the reason for this difficulty can also be used to design actuators that utilize these material and geometric non-linearities to obtain multiple stable equilibria. In this work, we investigate one of the simplest possible configurations, a spherical membrane, using a model that incorporates both mechanical and electrostatic pressure as well as inertial effects that become important when transitioning from one equilibrium to another.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.