Advantageously, the electromechanical actuator can be subject to a pre-tensioning step during which the device is deformed in one or more preferential directions. To this end, advantageously, the dielectric can also be material with piezoelectric properties. Description of a preferred exemplary embodiment In figures from 1 to 4 a first exemplary embodiment is shown of an electromechanical actuator 1 that can be used as converter of electric energy into mechanical energy or vice-versa and as sensor of deformation, according to the present invention.
Field of the invention The present invention relates to a device that can be used in particular, but not exclusively, in the field of technologies for converting electric energy into mechanical energy or vice-versa. The deformation of the electro-active polymer can be then used for converting electric energy into mechanical energy. In addition to the function as actuator, sensor and generator, the device presents a structure and a configuration suitable for its use as electric condenser having high specific capacity and with predetermined stiffness.
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When a certain voltage is applied between the two electrodes, the electro- active polymer warps reducing its thickness and increasing its width and length owing to electrostatic forces. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the or each first and the or each second deformable electrode are arranged so that two adjacent coils have the surfaces facing each other and overlapped axially.
Another possible technology that can be used to obtain the electromechanical actuator, according to the invention, provides a process for moulding by casting. Furthermore, the electrical connections between the electrodes of each series normally affect the deformation of the whole stack. Suitable electrodes (for example made of silicone with embedded conductive particles or sprayed with grafite) are created on the two main surfaces of an helix having an inner surface 102 and an outer surface 103 previously coated. The material of a raw electro-active polymer (for example silicone rubber) is then put into moulds obtaining an helix of electro-active polymer.
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The electrodic material, dissolved in suitable solvents (for example trichloroethylene or ether for carbon loaded with silicone) , is put on the helix 100 also for coating by dipping, painting or spraying. In particular, motor 80 moves about axis 62 a tubular support 61 on which tubular element 60 is put. This is obtained by the combination of the motion of tubular element 60 with respect to a cutting tool 55 that cuts it radially, figure 5. In particular, tubular element 60 rotates about its own axis 62 operated by a motor 80 and at the same time is cut by tool 55 movable in a direction substantially parallel to the axis 62 of tubular element 60 same. The actuator 1 is therefore capable of shrinking in the direction of its own axis 2; more in detail, the direction of the electrical field and the working direction of the actuator 1 tend to be parallel to each other.