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Study of deformation behavior of artificial muscles based on electroactive polymers: performance enhancement proposal

Grant number: 18/10843-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Carlos Henrique Scuracchio
Grantee:Matheus Colovati Saccardo
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

IPMC's (Ionomeric Polymer-Metal Composites) are electroactive materials composed of a polymer membrane with high ionic conductivity between metal electrodes, and are able to modify their shape and/or size in response to an electric stimulus. For this reason, they present great potential to be used as mechanical actuators with movements and characteristics similar to biological muscles ("artificial muscles") and dynamic sensors in sizes varying between micro and macro scales. IPMC's actuators have many advantages over conventional mechanical actuators, such as high flexibility, lightness, softness, capacity for miniaturization and biocompatibility. However, these devices present some limitations, such as variations in deformational behavior in environments with different humidity, slow deformation due to the time for the migration of charges and molecules, need for a better understanding of the relationship between applied electrical voltage and the mechanical response to the stimulus and low replicability, making production unfeasible on a large scale. In this context, the main objective of this work is to propose a procedure to investigate the deformation behavior of artificial muscles using the identification of the filming patterns of these components during their performance. This study will help in the understanding of the electromechanical mechanisms that act in the IPMC, allowing, even, a critical analysis of the most accepted phenomenological models that try to explain its behavior.