How to tune rubber elasticity

A.L. Larsen, P. Sommer-Larsen, O. Hassager, Ole Hassager

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


When using polymeric networks to EAP material, certain requirements need to be fulfilled or at least partly fulfilled. The networks need to be strong since the driving voltage goes as the thickness of the film to the second power, but on the other hand the networks need to be soft and flexible in order to provide sufficiently motion. Several network parameters can be altered in order to alter the network properties but it turns out that the most obvious parameter - the chain length of the network reactants - has moderately influence at molecular lengths above the entanglement length only. The inter-chains entanglements dominate the properties rather than the actual crosslinks. Since chain lengths below the entanglement length result in hard networks, the chain length alone does not constitute a tunable parameter. Therefore, it is obvious to focus on controlling the entanglements. One way to do this is to make the network in solution and afterwards remove the solvent. This way the entanglement contribution is lowered because network chains will be surrounded by solvent molecules and therefore the number of trapped entanglements between network chains will be lowered. The chain length can then be used as an easily tunable parameter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectroactive olymer actuators and devices (EAPAD)
EditorsY. Bar-Cohen
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA
PublisherThe International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2004
ISBN (Print)0-8194-5302-1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventSmart structures and materials 2004 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 14 Mar 200418 Mar 2004


ConferenceSmart structures and materials 2004
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
SeriesSPIE Proceedings Series, 5385


  • Network optimization
  • Dielectic elastomer
  • Parameters
  • Entanglements
  • Solvent
  • Rubber
  • EAP
  • Elastic properties


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