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Proceedings Paper

Considerations for contractile electroactive materials and actuators
Author(s): Lenore Rasmussen; David Schramm; Paul Rasmussen; Kevin Mullally; Lewis D. Meixler; Daniel Pearlman; Alice Kirk
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Paper Abstract

Ras Labs produces contractile electroactive polymer (EAP) based materials and actuators that bend, swell, ripple, and contract (new development) with low electric input. In addition, Ras Labs produces EAP materials that quickly contract and expand, repeatedly, by reversing the polarity of the electric input, which can be cycled. This phenomenon was explored using molecular modeling, followed by experimentation. Applied voltage step functions were also investigated. High voltage steps followed by low voltage steps produced a larger contraction followed by a smaller contraction. Actuator control by simply adjusting the electric input is extremely useful for biomimetic applications. Muscles are able to partially contract. If muscles could only completely contract, nobody could hold an egg, for example, without breaking it. A combination of high and low voltage step functions could produce gross motor function and fine manipulation within the same actuator unit. Plasma treated electrodes with various geometries were investigated as a means of providing for more durable actuation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 2011
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 79762B (29 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880199
Show Author Affiliations
Lenore Rasmussen, Ras Labs, LLC (United States)
David Schramm, Ras Labs, LLC (United States)
Paul Rasmussen, Ras Labs, LLC (United States)
Kevin Mullally, Ras Labs, LLC (United States)
Lewis D. Meixler, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (United States)
Daniel Pearlman, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (United States)
Alice Kirk, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7976:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011
Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Federico Carpi, Editor(s)

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