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Proceedings Paper

Large strain actuation in polypyrrole actuators
Author(s): Patrick A. Anquetil; Derek Rinderknecht; Nathan A. Vandesteeg; John D. Madden; Ian W. Hunter
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Paper Abstract

A typical limitation of polypyrrole based conducting polymer actuators is the low achievable active linear strains (2 % recoverable at 10 MPa, 7 % max) that these active materials exhibit when activated in a common propylene carbonate / tetraethylammonium hexafluorophosphate electrolyte. Mammalian skeletal muscle, on the other hand, exhibits large recoverable linear strains on the order of 20%. Such large linear strains are desirable for applications in life-like robotics, artificial prostheses or medical devices. We report herein the measurement of recoverable linear strains in excess of 14 % at 2.5 MPa (20 % max) for polypyrrole activated in the 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium tetrafluoroborate liquid salt electrolyte. This advancement in conducting polymer actuator technology will impact many engineering fields, where a lightweight, large displacement actuator is needed. Benefits and trade offs of utilizing ionic liquid electrolytes for higher performance polypyrrole actuation are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5385, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (27 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.540141
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick A. Anquetil, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Derek Rinderknecht, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Nathan A. Vandesteeg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
John D. Madden, The University of British Columbia (Canada)
Ian W. Hunter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5385:
Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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