Browse Publications Technical Papers 05-12-03-0016

Optimization of Pneumatic Network Actuators with Isosceles Trapezoidal Chambers 05-12-03-0016

This also appears in SAE International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing-V128-5EJ

Soft actuators with pneumatic network have innovative potential applications in medical and rehabilitation areas. The performance of this kind of actuators is determined by the design of chambers and the properties of the active extensible layer and the passive inextensible layer. In this article, actuator with isosceles trapezoidal chambers is proposed. Orthogonal experiment design and finite element method are used to optimize the structure of actuators. Results indicate that adding constrain-limiting paper in the passive layer can significantly reduce the bending radius. Position of the paper in the passive layer also affects the bending radius. Actuators with trapezoidal chambers can have a smaller bending radius compared with that with rectangle chambers. The bending radius decreases as the ratio of short base to long base of trapezoid decreases. Increasing the number density of chambers can further reduce the bending radius. In addition, we find that the optimized actuator not only has a smallest bending radius but also can exert a largest force at its tip.


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