The use of dielectric elastomer (DE) for the realisation of new generation actuators has attracted the interest of many researchers in the last ten years due to their high efficiency, a very good electromechanical coupling and large achievable strains [1-3]. Although these properties constitute a very important advantage, the industrial exploitation of such systems is hindered by the high voltages required for the actuation  that could potentially constitute also a risk for the operators. In this work we present a DE based active layer that can be used in different macro-scaled parts of industrial equipment for roto-flexographic printing substituting traditional mechanical devices, reducing manufacturing costs and enhancing its reliability. Moreover, the specific configuration of the system requires the driving voltage to be applied only in the mounting/dismounting step thus lowering further the operative costs without posing any threat for the workers. Starting from the industrial requirements, a complete thermo-mechanical characterisation using DSC and DMA was undertaken on acrylic elastomer films in order to investigate their behaviour under the operative frequencies and solicitations. Validation of the active layer was experimentally evaluated by manufacturing a DE actuator controlling both prestrain and nature of the complaint electrodes, and measuring the electrically induced Maxwell's strain using a laser vibrometer to evaluate the relative displacement along the z-axis.
Pinto, F., D'Oriano, G., & Meo, M. (2014). Dielectric Elastomer based active layer for macro-scaled industrial application in roto-flexographic printing. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 9056). [90563G] SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2046364