Active rubbers: Dielectric elastomer energy transducers and soft robotsThursday (24.09.2020) 10:25 - 10:55 Z: Special Symposia II Part of:
Soft robotics put a demand forward for softer and softer materials with mechanical integrity and stability over time, in other words understanding rubber elasticity bcomes crucial. Hydrogels are natural candidates with respect to the softness and to some extent with respect to the mechanical integrity, but over time, hydrogels change properties due to the change of water content. Silicone elastomers are the excellent for soft robotics due to their inherent softness, mechanical integrity and stability both with respect to temperature (between -100 and 300◦C) and deformation (mechanical stability for more than 100 mio cycles is not uncommon). However, silicone elastomers are challenged with demands of elastic moduli below ~500 kPa. Various network structures have been made to decrease the elastic moduli beyond the natural lower limit arising from the elastic response from entanglements. Amongst these structures are slide-ring elastomers, bottlebrush elastomers, and a completely novel type of elastomer where the origin of elasticity is currently not understood. The pros and cons of these network synthesis methods and the resulting properties will be discussed in this talk.