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Proceedings Paper

Mathematical modeling of ionic interactions and deformation in ionic polymer-metal composite artificial muscles
Author(s): K. Firoozbakhsh; Mohsen Shahinpoor; M. Shavandi
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a simple mathematical model for surface deformation due to ionic interaction in connection with ion- exchange polymer-noble metal composites (IPMC) as biomimetic sensors and actuators. These smart composites exhibit characteristics of both actuators and sensors. Strips of these composites can undergo large bending and flapping displacement if an electric field is imposed across their thickness. Thus, in this sense they are large motion actuators. Conversely by bending the composite strip, either quasi-statically or dynamically, a voltage is produced across the thickness of the strip between the two conducting electrodes attached. Thus they are also large motion sensors. In this paper a simple mathematical model is presented for the role of ionic interactions, and in particular the sulfonic group actions and the metallic electrode anions, in surface deformation observed under an electric field in ionic polymeric-metal composite artificial muscles. It is shown that the columbic attraction/repulsion force distribution has its maximum at the edges of the surface and sharply decreases towards the center of the surface. Furthermore, the maximum force is not macroscopically scale dependent. This means that is attains its maximum over a short finite length. This fact can be used to design large force arrays with collective action for a number of industrial and medical applications. According to our findings an optimal muscle in force/motion capability should consist of series of miniaturized IPMC muscle strips similar to the structure of actual biological muscles' myofibrils consisting of sarcomeres. This paper further identifies key parameters involving the contraction/expansion force characteristics of sensors and actuators made of IPMC's.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3323, Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Mathematics and Control in Smart Structures, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316337
Show Author Affiliations
K. Firoozbakhsh, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
Mohsen Shahinpoor, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
M. Shavandi, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3323:
Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Mathematics and Control in Smart Structures
Vasundara V. Varadan, Editor(s)

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