Fabrication , Modeling analysis and Application of Silver-Electrode Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuator

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Artificial muscle actuators mimicking the biological actuating mechanism are emerging as a new means of producing bio-actuator. Particularly, ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuator that can be actuated or driven by employing a voltage which results in large strains to produce force and change in displacements have shown much interest to the research community. The ionic polymer metal composites originate from a class of advanced active materials, commonly known as electro-active polymers (EAPs). An IPMC typically consists of a thin ion-exchange membrane such as Nafion or Flemion chemically plated on both surface with a noble metal such as gold or platinum as surface electrode. The water content of the base polymer of the IPMC serves as a medium for ion migration and thus influences the performance of the IPMC. Dehydration of moisture/water molecules through the porous electrode surface results in underperformance during working of the actuator. Further, for prolonged operation electrolysis occurs beyond certain input voltage again reduces the effectiveness of the IPMC. Though IPMCs are seemed to be very promising in various fields for actuation and sensing related applications, high manufacturing cost, nonlinear response, dehydration effect, and low force output during actuation have somewhat restricted its usage in commercial applications. When an electric potential is applied across the thickness of IPMC, mobile cations combined with the surrounding water molecules move towards the oppositely charged electrode. The migration of mobile cations with the water molecules initiates swelling near the cathode electrode and shrinkage near the anode which leads to bending deformation towards anode..
Supervisor: Dibakar Bondopadhya AND S. K. Dwivedy