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17 April 2017 Boundary-condition analysis for physics-based modeling of ionic-polymer metal composite electroactive polymers
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Ionic-polymer metal composites (IPMCs) are a subset of ionic electroactive polymers (EAPs). They produce an actuation response based on the electrically induced flux of mobile ions through a parent-polymer matrix. This response is a result of the accumulation of cations and anions on opposing sides of the matrix and is directly related to the size disparity between the two types of ions. These factors impose a differential expansion across the matrix, which generates the macroscopic bending that is observed. It is well known that the motion of these EAPs is highly nonlinear and time dependent, making for a process that is difficult to model. A simplistic approach to modeling the physics behind this phenomenon and correlating that to experimental results is outlined, herein. This new methodology enables a comprehensive analysis of the boundary conditions (BCs) needed to be considered in order to accurately characterize the IPMC actuation response. The subsequent series of equations developed, which depict the ionic motion under these BCs, is presented. Empirical data for model analysis was acquired from IPMCs created using poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), a well-known, biodegradable, solid-polymer electrolyte infused with lithium perchlorate, as the ionic salt. Experimental results fitted with this new model returned a favorable average adjusted-R2, goodness-of-fit, of 0.987, 0.994, and 0.992 when PEO films were tested under varying conditions, including: ionic concentration, applied voltage, and testing temperature, respectively.
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Patrick S. Bass, Lin Zhang, and Zhongyang Cheng "Boundary-condition analysis for physics-based modeling of ionic-polymer metal composite electroactive polymers", Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 101632R (17 April 2017);

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