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Proceedings Paper

Contraction/elongation behavior of cation-modified polyacrylonitrile fibers
Author(s): Kwang J. Kim; Jerusha Caligiuri; Kiyoug Choe; Mohsen Shahinpoor
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, the authors present the contraction/elongation behavior of cation-modified Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers, which identifies the fibers to be effectively used as biomimetic actuators and artifical muscles. The research was intiated by realizing that the contraction/elongation behavior of PAN is governed by the diffusional processes of ions/solvents interaction. The PAN fibers were suitably annealed, cross-linked and hydrolyzed to become "active". The cation-modified process was performed using KOH, NaOH, and LiOH, respectively, for the boiling and alkaline-soaking mediums. It was found that the PAN fibers, regardless of whether being activated in KOH, NaOH, or LiOH, increased from their initial length after being activated and soaked in distilled water. Lengths then decreased after the fibers were soaked in the bases. Fibers treated with LiOH had the largest increase in length following immersion in distilled water. Fibers soaked in any of the three mediums generally had the same decrease in length following immersion in the alkaline solutions, as also occurred following immersion in HCl. Especially noticeable with the fibers treated with LiOH was that greater displacement in the lengths occurred using the 2 N solutions. It is our general notion that the Osmotic pressure of free ions plays an import role on the properties of PAN. However, the observation that Li+ treated PAN fibers exhibit the largest contraction/expansion capability compared to Na+ or K+ treated PANs, can raise another important issue, i.e. "hydration". Realizing that the Osmotic pressure of electrolyte systems in weakly dependent upon the types of ions, it is highly likely that the "hydration" phenomena of free ions within the PAN network plays a key role on its deformation properties. It should be noted that PAN fibers have the capability of changing their effective longitudinal strain more than 100% and have comparable strength to human muscle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5051, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (28 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484415
Show Author Affiliations
Kwang J. Kim, Univ. of Nevada, Reno (United States)
Jerusha Caligiuri, Univ. of Nevada, Reno (United States)
Kiyoug Choe, Univ. of Nevada, Reno (United States)
Mohsen Shahinpoor, Environmental Robotics, Inc. (United States)
Univ. of New Mexico (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5051:
Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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