Assessing Partial Discharge Activity in Dielectric Elastomer under Cyclic Tensile Stress

Alessandro Iannarelli, Mohamad Gaffarian Niasar, Rob Ross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Dielectric elastomers (DE) have lately drawn attention for their use in soft actuators and electromechanical energy harvester. Excellent dielectric properties and high mechanical deforming capability are key requirements of DEs. Given that the output strain of DE system is proportional to the applied electric field squared (and vice versa), - high electric field is needed to generate large displacement. Similarly to any other insulation exposed to high electric field, DEs undergo electrical ageing. Furthermore, DEs undergo continuous mechanical deformation during its lifetime. Therefore, the lifetime of DE system can be shortened by the simultaneous action of electric and dynamical mechanical stress. This can lead to a faster overall ageing of DE system with respect to other common HV devices, that usually are mechanically-static. To extend the useful life of the system it is firstly important to know how fast the electromechanical degradation process is and what is the contribution of electrical and mechanical stresses. Secondly, assess its ageing stage and adjust its output accordingly, albeit with a lower effectiveness. Partial discharge testing has been used to assess the health of a silicon polymer elastomer typically used in dielectric elastomer generator. The mechanical ageing of a DE system has been qualitatively evaluated by monitor PD activity over different cycles of usage and reported in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE Electrical Insulation Conference (EIC)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-4178-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-4179-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2018 IEEE Electrical Insulation Conference, EIC 2018 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: 17 Jun 201820 Jun 2018


Conference2018 IEEE Electrical Insulation Conference, EIC 2018
Abbreviated titleEIC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio


  • dielectric ageing
  • electroactive polymer
  • mechanical tensile stress
  • partial discharge


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