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Proceedings Paper

Electrically controllable deformation memory effects in ionic polymers
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Paper Abstract

This paper reports a novel electric deformation memory effect in connection with ionic polymer conductor composites (IPCC) and, in particular, ionic polymer composites (IPMC). This deformation memory effect is neither thermal, as observed in shape memory alloys, nor magnetic, as observed in magnetic shape memory alloys. It is shown that an IPCC is capable of storing geometric shape and deformation information for a given step voltage or imposed electric field, even when the field is turned off. This electric deformation memory effect is more profound than the existing thermal or magnetic shape memory effects that basically have only one configuration per a given threshold magnetic field or temperature. In other words, IPMC's do not need to be trained for a given shape memory effect such as SMA's or ferromagnetic shape memory materials but rather, they have an infinite set of possibilities of deformation shapes versus voltage that can be memorized even when the electric field is removed. This creates for the first time potential for given voltage signal or electric field. The data presented here in this paper will establish that from a neutral position and charge free state, for any given voltage, a cantilever sample of IPMC bends to a shape, and if one removes the voltage, the shape will not change and the material remembers the shape permanently. The process is highly reversible. Any change in shape is due to environmental changes such as humidity or temperature, and in a controlled environment, we observe that after the voltage is removed, having allowed the sample to stabilize, the shape stays almost permanently. Upon shorting out the electrodes on the two sides of the sample, the sample moves back to its initial configuration before the application of the step voltage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475152
Show Author Affiliations
Mohsen Shahinpoor, Univ. of New Mexico and Environmental Robots, Inc. (United States)
Kwang J. Kim, Univ. of Nevada/Reno (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4695:
Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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