Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science - Mechanical


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Chakravarty, Uttam


Dielectric elastomer membranes are materially electromechanical transducers wherein they convert mechanical energy into electrical signals and vice versa acting as both an actuator and a generator. In this study, the aerodynamic and modal characteristics of the membrane are investigated both experimentally and computationally. VHB 4910 with conductive material of carbon grease used as an insulator on both surfaces are the specimens examined. From the experimental testing of the material, the resonance properties of the membrane are found. Computational analysis using a structural finite element analysis is used to obtain the modal response and study the effect of voltage application. A wind-tunnel testing setup and data acquisition system is used to analyze the experimental aerodynamic characteristics of the membrane. Fluid-structure interaction analysis investigates the aerodynamic response of the membrane computationally. A shape sensitivity test is done to compare how different shapes maintaining a constant surface area affect the vibrations and aerodynamics of the membrane. The modal characteristics are constrained by modifying the true stress, applied voltages and the prestretch.


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