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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication and characterization of fluidic artificial muscles having millimeter-scale diameters
Author(s): Erica G. Hocking; Norman M. Wereley
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Paper Abstract

This study presents the manufacturing process, experimental characterization, and analytical modeling of fluidic artificial muscles (FAMs) with millimeter-scale diameters. First, a fabrication method was developed to consistently deliver low-cost, high-performance, miniature FAMs using commercially available materials. The quasi-static behavior of these FAMs was determined through experimentation on a single actuator with an active length of 39.16 mm (1.54 in) and a diameter of 4.13 mm (0.1625 in) using compressed air as the working fluid. Tests were carried out at several discrete actuation pressures ranging from 207 kPa (30 psi) to 552 kPa (80 psi) in order to demonstrate the full evolution of force with displacement over a broad spectrum of operating pressures. The results of these tests also revealed the blocked force and free contraction capabilities of the FAM at each internal pressure. When pressurized to 552 kPa (80 psi), the actuator was capable of delivering a maximum blocked force of 132.9 N (29.87 lb) and a maximum free contraction of ΔL/L0 = 0.0688. Furthermore, it is the goal of this work to compare the data from these experiments to previously developed models for full-scale PAMs. Using two formulations, one derived using a force balance approach and the other obtained using virtual work methods, the experimental data was validated against existing analytical models. With the inclusion of correction factors to account for physical phenomena encountered during testing, comparison between the models and the experimental results indicate that the improved models accurately predict the behavior of these miniature FAMs at low contractions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8341, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2012, 83410H (27 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915177
Show Author Affiliations
Erica G. Hocking, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Norman M. Wereley, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8341:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2012
Henry A. Sodano, Editor(s)

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