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Proceedings Paper

Performance of polymer-based actuators: the three-layer model
Author(s): Mohammed Benslimane; Peter Gravesen; Keld West; Steen Skaarup; Peter Sommer-Larsen
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Paper Abstract

Conducting polymers show volume changes during electrochemical doping. Their high strength make them potential candidates for being used as artificial muscles. We consider actuators based on three-layer structures consisting of a passive polymer substrate sheet, a thin metal film electrode and a thin film of conducting polymer. In this paper we describe our Three- layer model to study the performance of an actuator based on the transduction of bending to linear movements. We show calculated results for an undulator and C-block characterized, respectively, by a flat and semi-circular shape in the relaxed state. Knowing the mechanical parameters of the considered materials, we evaluate the efficiency of the composite structure in terms of the performed stroke and work. The model shows that the undulator contracts in a nonlinear way with respect to the relative expansion of the materials, whereas the C-block is approximately linear. Contractions as large as 80% and 45% are obtained with the undulator and C-block, respectively. Although the C-block performs better than the undulator in terms of linearity, the undulator is easier to design and manufacture due to its flat shape in the relaxed state.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3669, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, (28 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.349667
Show Author Affiliations
Mohammed Benslimane, Danfoss A/S (Denmark)
Peter Gravesen, Danfoss A/S (Denmark)
Keld West, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Steen Skaarup, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Peter Sommer-Larsen, Riso National Lab. (Denmark)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3669:
Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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