New elastomeric silicone based networks applicable as electroactive systems

Anca Gabriela Bejenariu, Mads Boll, Mikkel Rønne Lotz, Christoffer Vraa, Anne Ladegaard Skov

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Commercial elastomer materials are available for dielectric electroactive polymer (DEAP) purposes but the applied commercial elastomers have not been developed with the specific application in mind. It is therefore obvious that optimization of the elastomer material should be possible. In this study we focus on optimization of the mechanical properties of the elastomer and show that it is possible to lower the elastic modulus and still not compromise the other required mechanical properties such as fast response, stability, low degree of viscous dissipation and high extensibility. The elastomers are prepared from a vinyl-terminated polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) and a 4-functional crosslinker by a platinum-catalyzed hydrosilylation reaction between the two reactants. Traditionally, elastomers based on hydrosilylation are prepared via a ‘one-step two-pot’ procedure (with a mix A and a mix B mixed in a given ratio). An alternative network formulation method is adopted in this study in order to obtain an elastomeric system with controlled topology – a so-called bimodal network. Bimodal networks are synthesized using a ‘two-step four-pot’ mixing procedure which results in a nonhomogeneous network structure which is shown to lead to novel mechanical properties due to the low extensibility of the short chains and the high extensibility of the long chains. The first ensures stability and the last retards the rupture process thereby combining two desired properties for DEAP purposes without necessarily compromising the viscous dissipation. Several elastomers are prepared and tested for the linear viscoelastic behaviour, i.e. behaviour in the small-strain limit (up to approximately 10% strain). The bimodal networks are, however, capable of extensions up to several times their initial length but the focus here is the small-strain limit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number76762V
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices 2011 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 6 Mar 2011 → …


ConferenceElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period06/03/2011 → …

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Rheology
  • Mechanical stability
  • Bimodal networks
  • Elastic modulus
  • Mechanical properties
  • Silicone


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