Abstract

The dielectric elastomer material is a category of electroactive polymers which produces large deformation under applied voltage. This property made them much promising as smart materials that can rapidly adapt to changes in environmental conditions due to their mechanical response to an electrical input. In this study, a specimen of a hyperplastic elliptic DE membrane is considered to observe the structural dynamics and aerodynamic characteristics under external flow of air subjected to electric excitation. For the structural dynamic characteristics, a finite element model of the membrane subjected to three different electric voltages is created. The frequencies obtained from the finite element model are compared to that of the analytical method. For the aerodynamic response, a fluid-structure interaction model is created under steady airflow with low Reynolds number characteristics. The variations of the aerodynamic coefficients of lift and drag with the angle of attack are studied for a particular fluid velocity. In addition, the out-of-plane deformation of the membrane with different angles of attack subjected to different voltages are also investigated. It is found that the vibration frequency decreases as the voltage increases due to the softening effect of the voltage on the membrane. The aerodynamic coefficient of lift is observed to increase with the angle of attack up to the critical value which is a trend similarly followed by the aerodynamic efficiency.

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