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Sensors 2016, 16(4), 433; doi:10.3390/s16040433

Investigation on the Mechanical and Electrical Behavior of a Tuning Fork-Shaped Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuator with a Continuous Water Supply Mechanism

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi 621, Taiwan
2
Advanced Institute of Manufacturing with High-Tech Innovations, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi 621, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 16 February 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4395 KB, uploaded 25 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

This paper presents an innovative tuning fork-shaped ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuator. With an integrated soft strain gauge and water supply mechanism (WSM), the surface strain of the actuator can be sensed in situ, and providing a continuous water supply maintains the water content inside the IPMC for long-term operation in air. The actuator was fabricated using a micromachining technique and plated with a nickel electrode. The device performance was experimentally characterized and compared with an actuator without a WSM. A large displacement of 1.5 mm was achieved for a 6 mm-long prong with 7-V dc actuation applied for 30 s. The measured current was analyzed using an electrochemical model. The results revealed that the faradaic current plays a crucial role during operation, particularly after 10 s. The measured strain confirms both the bending and axial strain generation during the open-and-close motion of the actuator prongs. Most of the water loss during device operation was due to evaporation rather than hydrolysis. The constructed WSM effectively maintained the water content inside the IPMC for long-term continuous operation. View Full-Text
Keywords: ionic polymer; composite; electrochemical model; faradaic current; cation ionic polymer; composite; electrochemical model; faradaic current; cation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Feng, G.-H.; Huang, W.-L. Investigation on the Mechanical and Electrical Behavior of a Tuning Fork-Shaped Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuator with a Continuous Water Supply Mechanism. Sensors 2016, 16, 433.

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