Nonlinear large deformation dynamic analysis of electroactive polymer actuators
Electroactive polymers have attracted considerable attention in recent years due to their sensing and actuating properties which make them a material of choice for a wide range of applications including sensors, biomimetic robots, and biomedical micro devices. This paper presents an effective modeling strategy for nonlinear large deformation (small strains and moderate rotations) dynamic analysis of polymer actuators. Considering that the complicated electro-chemo-mechanical dynamics of these actuators is a drawback for their application in functional devices, establishing a mathematical model which can effectively predict the actuator's dynamic behavior can be of paramount importance. To effectively predict the actuator's dynamic behavior, a comprehensive mathematical model is proposed correlating the input voltage and the output bending displacement of polymer actuators. The proposed model, which is based on the rigid finite element (RFE) method, consists of two parts, namely electrical and mechanical models. The former is comprised of a ladder network of discrete resistive-capacitive components similar to the network used to model transmission lines, while the latter describes the actuator as a system of rigid links connected by spring-damping elements (sdes). Both electrical and mechanical components are validated through experimental results.