Liquid silicone rubbers (LSRs) have been shown to possess very favorable properties as dielectric electroactive polymers due to their very high breakdown strengths (up to 170 V/μm) combined with their fast response, relatively high tear strength, acceptable Young’s modulus as well as they can be filled with permittivity enhancing fillers. However, LSRs possess large viscosity, especially when additional fillers are added. Therefore both mixing and coating of the required thin films become difficult. The solution so far has been to use solvent to dilute the reaction mixture in order both to ensure better particle dispersion as well as folllowing for film formation properties. We show that the mechanical properties of the films as well as the electrical breakdown strength can be affected, and that the control of the amount of solvent throughout the coating process is essential for solvent borne processes. Another problem encountered when adding solvent to the highly filled reaction mixture is the loss of tension in the material upon large deformations. These losses are shown to be irreversible and happen within the first large-strain cycle.
Proceedings of Spie: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (eapad 2014), 2014