Investigations on the thermal actuation of carbon black reinforced pdms composite uni-layer and bi-layer cantilever beams

Shivashankar Hiremath, Sushmita Desai, Satyabodh Kulkarni, Navin Karanth, Vijay Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Actuators are the essential components of robots, switches, relays, and many other automatic systems. There are various actuator types based on material, geometry, and stimulus. Nowadays, polymer composite based actuators are gaining importance due to their flexibility, ease of processing, low cost, and easy way of tailoring the properties. Among the polymers, Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the promising polymers for the actuator. In the present study, unilayer and bilayer cantilever beams of PDMS based composite subjected to a thermal stimulus are investigated. The Finite Element (FE) and the analytical models are developed for unilayer and bilayer polymer composite beams and simulated for actuator response. The deflection behavior of these beams is investigated for a temperature input range of 308K to 368K. The beams are analyzed for varying Carbon Black(CB) content from 5 to 25 Vol% in PDMS polymer and beam thickness from 1mm to 5mm. It is observed that with an increasing percentage of filler content, the increment in deflection of the bilayer beam is appreciably higher when compared to the unilayer beam. For 25 Vol% of CB, the bilayer beam shows 11.48 times improvement in deflection value. Also, it is noticed that the thickness of the beams influences deflection more compared to the percentage of the CB content. The deflection of the unilayer and bilayer beam is observed to increase linearly with temperature input. At 368K, the bilayer beam deflection is 6.87 times greater than the unilayer. Hence this analysis is the baseline for predicting the actuator performance of the unilayer and bilayer polymer composite beams considering the set of variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Manufacturing Technologies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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