The AFPA is manufactured using compression molding technique.
The advantage in using one-component silicone rubber as bonding agent is that after curing its property of flexibility remains as compared to other adhesive materials, which makes the AFPA flexible as a single continuous piece.
The principle of 3-port valve is to internally direct the pressure to the AFPA from the compressor and then to the exhaust from the AFPA corresponding to the ON and OFF state of the valve.
When the valve is in ON state, the pressure increases linearly in the AFPA. To maintain the pressure inside the actuator at a constant value (e.g., 0.3 MPa) for a desired position, the valve should be controlled using a PWM pulse with 50% duty cycle as shown.
Figure 15 shows the deflection of manufactured AFPA with varying pressures.
Figure 16 shows deflection analysis of the AFPA using Abaqus 6.13 software.
It is found that the effect of shape and eccentricity of the AFPA plays an important role in the bending of the actuator and deflection of asymmetric bellow actuator is influenced by the eccentricity up to a certain extent.