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Proceedings Paper

Electrically controllable liquid crystal elastomer-graphite composite artifical muscles
Author(s): Heino Finkelmann; Mohsen Shahinpoor
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Paper Abstract

Reported is the fabrication method and experimental results pertaining to a new class of liquid crystal elastometer- graphite (LCE-G) composites as electrically controllable biomimetic artificial muscles. These films (10mmx20mmx0.32mm) of monodomain nematic liquid side chain crystal elastomers graphite (LSCE-G) composites were transversely pressed between uniform layers of fine graphite powder of 2 microns average diameter under a stress of 100 kPa. The resulting composite expanded to (12 mmx24mmx0.33mm) and had about 53% by volume embedded graphite powder. The composite became a conductor and had an effective resistivity of about 2 ohms/square on its surface and about 1 ohmsquare across its thickness. Upon applying DC voltage of 0.5 to 5 volts to the samples for 4 seconds, under a stress if abiyt 10 kPa, the sample contracted quickly in about a second to about 18 mm lengthwise with an average linear strain of about 25%. The samples generally had negligible contractions in the thickness and transverse direction. The cooling was also quick and it took the sample about 4.4 seconds to revert back to its initial length.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475190
Show Author Affiliations
Heino Finkelmann, Albert-Ludwigs-Univ. Freiburg (Germany)
Mohsen Shahinpoor, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4695:
Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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