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6 June 1997 Ion-exchange-metal composite sensor films
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In this work sensor films made out of ion-exchange membrane- metal composite polymers developed by treating commercially available ion-exchange membrane polyions with a noble metal such as platinum were investigated. These smart composites exhibit characteristics of both actuators and sensors. Strips of these composites cut in a standard size will undergo large bending displacement when placed in a low electric field. Conversely by bending the composite strip, a voltage can be measured across the thin membrane. The output voltage can then be calibrated for a standard size sensor and correlated to the applied loads or stresses. In this research the sensing capability of these materials were investigated by bending the tip end of a sample and measuring the output voltage. The results were then plotted to get characteristic response of the composite for a given imposed tip displacement. In addition a hysteresis curve for a complete cycle of bending was obtained. The preliminary results showed the existence of linear relationship between output voltage and displacement for all except the last quarter of bending cycle. Unlike strain gages where the output voltage needs to be conditioned and amplified by a factor of 1000 or more, these composite polymer sensors can produce up to millivolt output and sense large deformations in the presence of small amplifier gains of two order of magnitude less than conventional sensors. In addition they can be made in the range of micro to several inches in dimension for various applications. Also they don't face the shortcomings and other limitations associated with bonding of typical strain gages to the work piece. The most important advantage of these composites is the fact that they can be used both as large motion sensors and actuators. This means that by using a simple feedback control scheme and double layers of the composite film, it will be possible to use these composites as self-contained robotic manipulators that don't need sophisticated sensors modules for full integration of intelligence.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Mehran Mojarrad and Mohsen Shahinpoor "Ion-exchange-metal composite sensor films", Proc. SPIE 3042, Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Smart Sensing, Processing, and Instrumentation, (6 June 1997);

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