Uncovering isolated resonant responses in antagonistic pure-shear dielectric elastomer actuators

Chongjing Cao, Thomas L Hill, Bo Li, Guimin Chen, Lei Wang, Xing Gao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


The dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) is one type of emerging soft actuator that has the attractive features of large actuation strains, high energy density and inherent compliance, which is desirable for novel bio-inspired and soft robotic applications. Due to their inherent elasticity, when stimulated by an alternating current voltage with a frequency matching the natural frequency of the DEA system, the DEAs can exhibit resonant responses which maximize the oscillation amplitude. Silicone elastomers are widely utilized for resonant actuation applications for their reduced viscous damping hence better dynamic performance compared to VHB elastomers. However, the low pre-stretch ratios adopted by silicone elastomers could induce loss-of-tension of the mem-branes in high amplitude oscillations, yet its effects on the dynamic responses of a DEA are not fully understood. By using a numerical dynamic model, this work studies the effects of the loss-of-tension on the frequency response of the antagonistic pure-shear DEAs. A subharmonic frequency response curve isolated from the main response branch is uncovered for the first time in a parametrically forced DEA system, which causes a sudden jump in the oscillation amplitude and serves as a severe threat to the dynamic stability and controllability of the DEA system. By using a global analysis method, the evolution of the isolated response curve against the excitation components and system physical parameters is also investigated numerically.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalSoft Science
Issue number1
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2021


  • dielectric elastomer actuators
  • pure-shear configuration
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • isolated response curve
  • soft oscillator


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