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9 April 2013 Viscoelastic model of IPMC actuators
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One of the constraining properties of the IPMC actuators is their back-relaxation. An excited IPMC actuator, instead of holding its bent state, relaxes back towards its initial shape even when the exciting signal is a DC voltage. This behavior is reported by many authors and is usually explained with diffusion of water back, or out of the electrodes. However, a non-traditional approach to the well-known elements of the traditional viscoelastic schemes – spring and damper – results with a qualitatively new model of viscoelasticity. This mechanical analogy of viscoelastic behavior elucidates the naturalness of the back-relaxation behavior of the actuators. The model is described by a system of PDEs and gives an intuitive and accurate charge-deflection correlation with back-relaxation included. The experiments carried out with actuators of different shapes show excellent accordance with the model.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
V. Vunder, A. Punning, and A. Aabloo "Viscoelastic model of IPMC actuators", Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 868723 (9 April 2013);

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