Dielectric elastomers are made of a highly stretchable elastomeric film (mostly Silicone Rubber Elastomer, Acrylate Elastomer or Polyurethane Elastomer) as a dielectric, which is coated on both sides with highly flexible electrodes of graphite or carbon black.
Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are smart material systems that produce large strains. They belong to the group of electroactive polymers (EAP). DE actuators (DEA) transform electric energy into mechanical work. They are lightweight and have a high elastic energy density. They have been investigated since the late 1990s. Many prototype applications exist.
The dielectric elastomer consists of a polymer flexible film sandwiched between upper and lower layers of flexible electrodes, developed and developed by SRI International, a non-profit international research organization, in the second half of 1991. In the external electrical stimulation, the dielectric elastomer can change the shape or volume; when the external electrical stimulation is removed, the dielectric elastomer can restore to the original shape or volume, resulting in stress and strain to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy.
Dielectric elastomers are characterized by large electrical deformation, high energy density, fast response, low viscoelastic hysteresis (mechanical) loss, and high conversion efficiency. They are mainly used for the production of lightweight, miniaturized and high-precision actuators. Potential of an intelligent material. Dielectric elastomer actuator principle was first proposed by Wilhelm Conrad Rntgn in 1880, the voltage applied to the electrode 2, the resulting two-electrode charge between the opposite sex electrostatic attraction in the direction of film thickness of the elastic film; In the horizontal direction, the electrostatic repulsion of the same-sex charge expands the film on the single-sided electrode, resulting in variations in thickness and area: the thickness decreases and the area expands.
At present, the major players of Dielectric Elastomers in the world include: 3M, Dow, Altropol, Nusil and BJB, among which 3M is the world’s largest Dielectric Elastomers manufacturer, with sales share of 34.93% in 2020. Dow and Altropol rank second and third respectively . The top 3 players own about 75% share globally. The industry is highly concentrated. There are companies adding new capacities and aims at the cost and quality leadership which shall improve profitability. As the same time, companies are focusing on technological innovation, equipment upgrades, and process improvements, to reduce costs and improve quality.
The global Dielectric Elastomers market is expected to reach 39.20 million USD by 2026 from 23.16 million USD in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 9.71% between 2021 and 2027. North America accounted for the largest sales share of the Dielectric Elastomers market in 2020. The region is characterized by the presence of a large number of service providers, especially in the USA. At the same time, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
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