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Proceedings Paper

Development of polypyrrole-based electromechanical actuators
Author(s): A. S. Hutchison; Trevor W. Lewis; S. E. Moulton; Geoffrey M. Spinks; Gordon G. Wallace
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Paper Abstract

The development of practical actuators based on conducting polymers having a force capacity of several tens of kilograms is considered. Large, free standing polypyrrole (Ppy) films give force density well below the theoretical maximum due to the inherent electrical resistance of the film. This may be overcome by applying a metallic coating but this is best achieved by applying the conducting polymer as a coating on a metallized polymer substrate. Increased electrical resistance (and, hence, reduced actuator performance) was also observed when the film thickness was increased and when gel electrolytes were used. The limitations on actuator performance due to ion diffusion kinetics were illustrated by studies on the effects of scan rate. The most suitable design for scale-up to practical actuator devices was based on a bundled fiber arrangement where the Ppy was first coated onto platinum coated polyester fibers. This design produced the highest force density achieved to date.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3669, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, (28 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.349683
Show Author Affiliations
A. S. Hutchison, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)
Trevor W. Lewis, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)
S. E. Moulton, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)
Geoffrey M. Spinks, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)
Gordon G. Wallace, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3669:
Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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