Many engineers seek to integrate conventional structures with technology to enhance energy efficiency. For example, imagine a sunshade that can change its form in response to the sun’s path. How can the electrically induced deformation of materials be exploited to develop a shape-shifting shading device? My thesis explores the use of electroactive polymers (EAP), a new technology that can deform in response to the application of voltage, as an electrically deformable material.
The objectives of my thesis is to validate the results of the study performed by O’Brian, et al. (2008) as a numerical modeling approach for shape-shifting EAP using dynamic relaxation, a numerical modeling technique that has not yet been applied. Dynamic relaxation is a method of solving a static problem by transforming the problem into a pseudo-dynamic one by introducing ficitious inertia and damping terms in the equation of motion. Then, I will design and test a physical EAP prototype. I will compare the physical results with Dynamic Relaxation and the published results. Finally, I will apply the understanding of EAPs to create a new series of forms and perform simulations using numerical and physical models.
Siu, S., Rhode-Barbarigos, L., Wagner, S., Adriaenssens, S. (2013). ‘Dynamic relaxation study and experimental verification of dielectric-elastomer minimum-energy structures’. In: Applied Physics Letters (accepted for publication).
Siu S.,Rhode-Barbarigos L., Wagner, S., Adriaenssens S. (2013).’ Analysis of dielectric elastomer minimum energy structures using dynamic relaxation.’ CCTS 2013. Sardinia, Italy.