FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This is a collection of previously asked questions regarding some of the tutorials and projects. We do not provide individual support. All knowledge on materials etc. is already published in the respective posts or can be found here.

Electroactive Polymers

Q: Hi, was wondering where you sourced the acrylic elastomer VHB from?
A: The VHB foil is a 3M product. In Switzerland it can be ordered here: www.ibzag.ch

Q: Is there a method to stretch the membrane in a uniform and simultaneous manner? I’ve also seen the EAPs being coated with silicon gel to create insulation, how does this affect the performance and durability?
A: If you use the stretching device from the tutorial it’s all manual. You could maybe design your own automated machine to do it but it’ll have to be quite strong. The insulation certainly weakens the motion of the components since it adds an extra non-active layer, but in return makes the pieces more durable and save.

Q: I tried using liquid silicone to seal/ insulate the EAP modules, but it doesn’t seem to stick very well on the VHB elastomer. Can you please advise me on which type of silicone to use?
A: We used Silicone RTV-23 produced by Suter Swiss-Composite Group.

Q: Could you help me with finding the right power converter?
A: We have been using the EMCO G50 or G60 converters.

Q: How do you use the 5 – 5000V Power Converter?
A: You need 4x 10MΩ resistors. Florian Wille has put together a nice explanation on how to build an Arduino controlled EAP driver.

Q: Where did you buy the extending steel frame? Have tried to find it but have no luck.
A: We made the stretching frame ourselves. There’s another tutorial by Nicole which shows an alternative method.

Bioplastics

Q: Are you adding the food coloring and soap mixture on top of the bio plastic sheet while it is still not dry?
A: It’s added during the cooking process.

Q: How to make the gelatin bioplastic totally clear and get rid of the yellowish color ? Apparently adding citric acid (lemon juice) is a solution but I have tried without results.
A: Maybe using a different type of gelatine could help. Maybe you also find some answers here.

Electroluminescence

Q: I am trying to run an experiment with EL displays similar to the tutorial one but I need to get the EL inverter first as shown. Could you let me know the brand and the model of the converter or a supplier?
A: We had our EL drivers from Enz. They have a few different ones and it depends on the area you want to illuminate. You could also use the Kit from Makershed.

Q: I was hoping that you could give me an idea of the price, either material by material (phosphore/dielectric paste/silver) or as a global figure for the materials needed for an A4 lamp for instance.
A: We have always ordered our materials from Gwent.  

Soft Robots

Q: How important is The problem is the white Phosphorous Powder to the processes? Where can I buy Hard Silicone Rubber?
A: The glow-in-the-dark pigments are not necessary and just a gimmick to enhance the appearance of the silicone. The hard silicone rubber is called “Addition Cure 33 Silicone Rubber”.