Electrical Breakdown of Dielectric Elastomers

Principal investigator: James BUSFIELD
Funding source(s): NPL Management Ltd
 Start: 01-10-2012  /  End: 30-09-2016
Directly incurred staff: Bin Chen
An electrical discharge

Dielectric elastomers are a class of Electroactive Polymer developed for high strain actuators. To achieve a strain of over 100%, high electric fields approaching the dielectric breakdown strength of the material are applied. Improvements in the performance and reliability of these materials will be made by understanding the mechanisms that lead to breakdown in these materials. This will be underpinned by development of robust techniques to characterise the failure strength under the influence of sample geometry, frequency, time, environment etc and analysis of experimental data in the framework of theories and models of dielectric breakdown in polymer insulators, as well as of electromechanical instability in dielectric elastomer actuators.