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31 August 2011 Mechanical modeling of thermally actuated LCE-CNT composite
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Optoactive polymer actuators and devices (OAPAD) are, undoubtedly, promising technologies. Analytical and finite element models describing dynamics of photo-induced deformation in OAPADs have already been developed, particularly for liquid crystal elastomers (LCE). Advanced materials like LCE - Carbon Nanotube (CNT) composites, require a more complex physical analysis involving different coupled phenomena like photochemistry, photophysics and chemomechanical coupling. The need for rigorous modeling of such complex physics as well as the imminent implantation and development of ground-breaking practical OAPADs, demand a fast way to model the light-induced deformation of the material. The purpose of this work is to build a finite element model serving as a bridge between basic elastomer physics and device engineering and design. We take advantage of experimental actuation data to build an empirical model describing the material deformation. The concept that sets the basis of the model is explained: the light irradiation provokes the heating of the material mainly thanks to the absorption properties of the CNTs. Thus, we can consider that CNTs behave as internal heat generators. Consequently, an opto-mechanical system based on LCE-CNT can be evaluated and the mechanical response optimized.
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Carlos J. Camargo, Humberto Campanella, Kirill Zinoviev, Núria Torras, Eva M. Campo, Jean E. Marshall, Eugene M. Terentjev, and Jaume Esteve "Mechanical modeling of thermally actuated LCE-CNT composite", Proc. SPIE 8107, Nano-Opto-Mechanical Systems (NOMS), 81070J (31 August 2011);

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