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The Effects of Dimensions on the Deformation Sensing Performance of Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites

School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Hohai University, Changzhou Campus, Changzhou 213022, China
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Special Robot Technology, Hohai University, Changzhou 213022, China
School of Mechanical Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Bionic Functional Materials, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(9), 2104;
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
PDF [4128 KB, uploaded 7 May 2019]


As an excellent transducer, ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) can act as both an actuator and a sensor. During its sensing process, many factors, such as the water content, the cation type, the surface electrode, and the dimensions of the IPMC sample, have a considerable impact on the IPMC sensing performance. In this paper, the effect of dimensions focused on the Pd-Au typed IPMC samples with various thicknesses, widths, and lengths that were fabricated and their deformation sensing performances were tested and estimated using a self-made electromechanical sensing platform. In our experiments, we employed a two-sensing mode (both current and voltage) to record the signals generated by the IPMC bending. By comparison, it was found that the response trend was closer to the applied deformation curve using the voltage-sensing mode. The following conclusions were obtained. As the thickness increased, IPMC exhibited a better deformation-sensing performance. The thickness of the sample changed from 50 μm to 500 μm and corresponded to a voltage response signal from 0.3 to 1.6 mV. On the contrary, as the length increased, the sensing performance of IPMC decreased when subjected to equal bending. The width displayed a weaker effect on the sensing response. In order to obtain a stronger sensing response, a thickness increase, together with a length reduction, of the IPMC sample is a feasible way. Also, a simplified static model was proposed to successfully explain the sensing properties of IPMC with various sizes. View Full-Text
Keywords: IPMC; sensor; dimension; deformation IPMC; sensor; dimension; deformation

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Wang, J.; Wang, Y.; Zhu, Z.; Wang, J.; He, Q.; Luo, M. The Effects of Dimensions on the Deformation Sensing Performance of Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites. Sensors 2019, 19, 2104.

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