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16 May 2005 A variational model of ionomeric polymer actuators and sensors
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Ionomeric polymers are a promising class of intelligent material which exhibit electromechanical coupling similar to that of piezoelectric bimorphs. Ionomeric polymers are much more compliant than piezoelectric ceramics or polymers and have been shown to produce actuation strain on the order of 2% at operating voltages between 1 V and 3 V. Their high compliance is also advantageous in low force sensing configurations because ionic polymers have a very little impact on the dynamics of the measured system. This paper presents a variational approach to the dynamic modeling of ionic polymer actuators and sensors. The approach requires a priori knowledge of three empirically determined material properties: elastic modulus, dielectric permittivity, and effective strain coefficient. Previous work by Newbury and Leo has demonstrated that these three parameters are strongly frequency dependent in the range between less than 1 Hz to frequencies greater than 1 kHz. A model of a cantilever beam incorporating this frequency dependence has been developed. The variational method produces a second-order matrix representation of the structure. The frequency dependence of the material parameters is incorporated using a complex-property approach similar to the techniques for modeling viscoelastic materials. A transducer was manufactured and the method of material characterization is outlined. Additional experiments are performed on this transducer and both the material and structural model are validated. The modeling method is then used to simulate the performance of actuators and sensors in a cantilever configuration.
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Miles A. Buechler and Donald J. Leo "A variational model of ionomeric polymer actuators and sensors", Proc. SPIE 5760, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Damping and Isolation, (16 May 2005);

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