NEXIPAL®

WACKER is launching flexible EAP laminates for actuators and capacitive sensors under its NEXIPAL® brand. From fall 2020 onwards, NEXIPAL® will be available in two product groups: NEXIPAL® Act for applications in actuator technology and NEXIPAL® Sense for sensor technology.

NEXIPAL®: EAP Laminates

NEXIPAL® laminates for electroactive applications consist of one or several ultrathin silicone layers of ELASTOSIL® Film. This film, which is only 20 to 400 µm thick, is coated with special electrodes, laminated and cut to shape. Several layers are then stacked on top of each other.

When voltage is applied, every other electrode is charged positively, and every other electrode is charged negatively. The positive and negative charge carriers of the electrodes attract each other. This causes the silicone film between them to change its shape, becoming not only thinner, but also longer and wider, and causing the surface to expand in proportion to the compressive force. When uncharged, the laminate will return to its original shape.

Benefits:

  • Low energy consumption
  • Low weight
  • High actuation speed
  • Silent operation
  • No heat development
  • Suitable for large strokes

Applications:

  • Valves
  • Pump
  • Relays
  • Artificial muscles
  • Grippers
  • Sound systems

The capacitance between the electrodes is measured in the original state. The sensor is then deformed by extension or compression, so that the electrodes move closer together. The resulting change in capacitance is recorded precisely. A combination of the sensor and actuator function is possible as well.

Benefits:

  • Extremely thin and flexible
  • Low weight
  • Freedom of design
  • Free from rare earths

Applications:

  • Touch displays
  • Smart textiles
  • Recording the movements of the body for medical, athletic and lifestyle applications