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11 July 2002 Numerical simulation of a coupled chemo-electric-formulation for ionic polymer gels in electric fields
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Ionic polymer gels, consisting of a polymer network with ionizable groups and a liquid phase with mobile ions, exhibit very good actuatoric capabilities due to their large swelling ratios. In this paper we investigate gels immersed in salt solution at different positions - in direct contact with the anode, the cathode or in the middle of the electric field. The concentrations of anions and cations in these gels as well as the electric potential inside and outside the gel are calculated for a given number of anionic groups fixed to the polymer. The applied chemo-electric formulation consists of a convection-diffusion equation for the chemical field and a Laplace equation for the electric field. The numerical simulation of the coupled formulation has been performed by using unconditionally stable space-time finite elements. Based on the results of the numerical simulation we compare the concentrations inside and outside the gel for the different test cases in order to optimize the position of the gel film. The highest swelling ratio of the gel has been taken as criterium for the optimization. The optimal condition is characterized by a maximum value of the concentration differences and of the Donnan potential.
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Thomas Wallmersperger, Bernd Kroeplin, and Rainer W. Guelch "Numerical simulation of a coupled chemo-electric-formulation for ionic polymer gels in electric fields", Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002);

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