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Proceedings Paper

Gas concentration control by directly linking sensor to actuator
Author(s): Mike K. Andrews; Murray L. Jansen; Jason C. Morris; Geoffrey M. Spinks; Dezhi Zhou; Gordon G. Wallace
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Paper Abstract

An integrated oxygen control system has been explored by using bi-morph actuators based on polypyrrole conducting polymers (CP). The practical focus was control of a fruit storage atmosphere at 5% oxygen. An oxygen sensor and a simple actuator-valve assembly were integrated to limit the influx of atmospheric oxygen to a small chamber representing a fruit storage package. Electrochemical oxygen sensors such as zinc-air cells with output potentials up to one volt appear to be well suited for this task as they are able to drive trilayer strips based on CPs that actuate over a similar voltage range. The bimorph actuator used gave reliable and repeatable mechanical behaviour for about 50 hours. In one sensor-actuator system trialled the output from a lead-oxygen sensor was electronically augmented to drive the actuator-valve. A set oxygen concentration of 5% was readily maintained with response times of tens of seconds. In the other system the voltage output from a zinc-air cell was used directly to control a very light actuator-valve that limited the free diffusion of air into the test chamber. Control of the oxygen concentration was achieved but at lower rates of oxygen flux and with longer response times.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2003
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5051, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (28 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484824
Show Author Affiliations
Mike K. Andrews, Industrial Research Ltd. (New Zealand)
Murray L. Jansen, Industrial Research Ltd. (New Zealand)
Jason C. Morris, Industrial Research Ltd. (New Zealand)
Geoffrey M. Spinks, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)
Dezhi Zhou, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)
Gordon G. Wallace, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5051:
Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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