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Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for an increased energy efficiency
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Introduction
Bild DIELASTAR In the joint research project DIELASTAR novel actuator and drive systems based on Dielectric Elastomers are investigated. These novel energy-efficient transducers serve as actuating elements for mechanical systems and are potential candidates for the use in many application areas in the future. Besides of a low-cost production, a further advantage of actuators based on Dielectric Elastomers is a strategic independence from raw materials like copper and ferromagnetic materials, which are widely used in state-of-the-art electrical drives.
Within the scope of the project new approaches dealing with the improvement of the material properties of elastomeric films are pursued, new processes for manufacturing actuator modules are developed and actuator modules and a specially designed electronics are integrated into applications and components in order to analyze the long-term stability and performance in a rough industrial environment.
In case of successfully mastering all technological challenges, the project results exert a considerable leverage effect in terms of positive benefits for further application areas, often requiring energy-efficient mechanical motions. In addition to the industrial applications, power engineering and automation engineering - areas the project is focused on - further suitable areas of use such as automotive engineering, medical devices and especially prosthetics are conceivable, so that a wider social benefit of the energy-efficient material and actuator technology can be stated.

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