patent number 6847155
High performance electromechanical devices suitable for a wide range of applications are described. The electroactive devices are capable of operating in a manner that offers enhanced mechanical displacement responses and increased load-bearing capabilities. In one embodiment, the device is capable of providing a significantly increased level of free displacement. The electroactive devices include an electroactive composite which includes at least one electroactive material that may comprise an electrostrictive or a piezoelectric material and a tensioning device which is adapted for inducing a mechanical pre-load to the electroactive composite structure. The tensioning device exerts a mechanical pre-load upon the electroactive material which alters stress profile, increases mechanical energy and increases stored elastic energy of the electroactive devices.
Clemson University (Clemson, SC, US)
310/330, 310/331, 310/800