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15 April 2016 Large deformation ionic polymer-metal composites actuators based on porous Nafion membranes
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With advantages of low driving voltage, good flexibility and high electromechanical efficiency, ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs), which are one of the most attractive smart materials, have been research hotspot in actuators, sensors and artificial muscles. However, a serious drawback of little deformation of thick IPMC actuator limits its application. In this paper, we fabricated thick porous Nafion membranes by freeze-drying process. A series of Thermogravimetric analyses (TGA), Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and Water uptake (WUP) tests were performed to examine the validity of the freeze-drying process and the pore size and the porosity. Then, the porous IPMCs were fabricated with the freeze-drying processed Nafion membranes by the solution casting and reducing plating. Finally, the IPMC actuators with the dimensions of 25× 5× 1 in millimeters were achieved and tested. The terminal deformation of the porous IPMC actuator increased by 739.7%, compared with the ordinary IPMC actuator with the same dimensions under the driving voltage of 2VDC.
Conference Presentation
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Dongxu Zhao, Dichen Li, Yanjie Wang, Meng Luo, and Hualing Chen "Large deformation ionic polymer-metal composites actuators based on porous Nafion membranes", Proc. SPIE 9798, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016, 979824 (15 April 2016);

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