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Snap-through actuation of thick-wall electroactive balloons

Stephan Rudykh's picture

Snap-through actuation of thick-wall electroactive balloons

Stephan Rudykh (a), (c), Kaushik Bhattacharya  (c) and Gal deBotton (a), (b)

(a) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, 84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel

(b) Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, 84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel

(c) Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States


Solution to the problem of a spherical balloon made out of an electroactive polymer which is subjected to coupled mechanical and electrical excitations is determined. It is found that for certain material behaviors instabilities that correspond to abrupt changes in the balloon size can be triggered. This can be exploited to electrically control different actuation cycles as well as to use the balloon as a micro-pump.




Xuanhe Zhao's picture


This is a very nice work on snap-through instability of dielectric-elastomer balloons. You may be interested in our recent study on the snap-through instability of free-standing dielectric elastomers under voltages.



Stephan Rudykh's picture


Thank you. Sure, these are very interesting and I am aware of. I am looking forward to reading your new works on the topic. 




Zhigang Suo's picture

 Snap-through instability is interesting.  Here is a recent paper on snap-through expansion of a gas bubble:

Jian Zhu, Tiefeng Li, Shengqiang Cai, and Zhigang Suo. Snap-through expansion of a gas bubble in an elastomer . The Journal of Adhesion 87, 466-481 (2011).

Stephan Rudykh's picture

Thank you, it is a very intersting work on the topic. It reminded me the fruitfull discussion  (here, at imechanica) initiated by a friend of mine, Oscar Lopez-Pamies


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