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Applying PolyPower DEAP material for innovative solutions

The versatile PolyPower DEAP technology can be applied for sensors, actuators and for energy harvesting. The achieved performance level of the DEAP material opens up the door for more and more applications that will be setting new standards.

The basic functionality of the PolyPower DEAP material can be split in three: Sensors, Actuators and Generators.

Actuators
DEAP material is stimulated by high bias voltage. When applying an electric field across a capacitor, electrostatic forces will try to force the plates of the capacitor towards each other (Maxwell pressure). As the material used in PolyPower film is very soft and incompressable, the electrostatic forces will cause an expansion of the material perpendicular to the compression which is shown in the figure below. This can be utilized to make actuators that directly convert electrical signal into mechanical force or stroke.




Maxwell pressure:
Thickness strain:
PolyPower material is anisotropic, so strain (s) is as follows:


P = Pressure; E = Electric field strength; Y = Young’s modulus of PolyPower DEAP film ≈ 1Mpa; l = Device length; l0 = Device original length; s = Strain; t = Film thickness (between electrodes); w = Device width; C = Capacitance; C0 = Capacitance original; ε0 = Permittivity of free space = 8.85x10-12; εr = Relative permittivity of PolyPower dielectric layer = 3.1

Sensors

PolyPower DEAP film is a flexible capacitor and functions as a sensor. External mechanical force deforms the PolyPower film and capacitance change. The change in capacitance will be proportional to amount of deformation/load.   Sensors made from PolyPower DEAP film are highly compliant and suitable for large strain.

Generators

PolyPower film is a capacitor and as such it can store electrical energy. When the capacitance of a DEAP element is changed, as a result of mechanical force on the element, the amount of stored energy changes. This feature of the material can be used to convert mechanical energy directly into electrical energy.


At present, Danfoss PolyPower has its main commercial focus on sensor applications while both actuators and generators fall under our research activities.