Sensors and Actuators A, Physical vol:168 issue:1 pages:58-65
This paper presents a theoretical and experimental analysis of a biologically inspired balloon-type pneumatic microactuator. The operation principle of pneumatic balloon actuators (PBA's) is based on an asymmetric deflection of two PDMS layers with different thicknesses or different Young's moduli that are bonded together. A new analytical 2D model that describes the complex behavior of these actuators is presented and validated using both 3D FEM models and measurements. The actuators have dimensions ranging from 11 mm × 2 mm × 0.24 mm to 4 mm × 1 mm × 0.12 mm. Their fabrication is based on micromolding of PDMS, and can therefore easily be fabricated in high throughput. Measurements showed that the analytical model provides a qualitative description of the actuator behavior, and showed that the larger actuators are capable of delivering a 7 mm stroke at a supply pressure of 70 kPa and a force of max 22 mN at a supply pressure of 105 kPa.