Silicone elastomers are used as dielectric electroactive polymers for making actuators, generators, sensors, and as artificial muscles in medical applications. Current requirements in the actuator manufacturing put a strict limitation on the thickness of the elastomers, such that a maximum permissible thickness is around 25–50 µm. The relatively small Young's modulus for these elastomers is a requirement for actuation capabilities. However, peeling and release of such films during manufacture processes are very difficult. To ease the release of the films, techniques such as the use of release agents like surfactants and detergents, incorporating resins in the silicone matrix and grafting/adding low surface energy functionalities to the silicone elastomer have been tested. The methods used are required not to interfere with the Young's modulus and the dielectric permittivity in a negative way. Polysorbate-20, a non-ionic surfactant, fulfills all requirements and gives the lowest peel forces for the films.
Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 2014, Vol 25, Issue 3, p. 249-257
Dielectric electroactive polymers; Release; Peel force; Surfactants; Polydimethylsiloxane films