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Materials 2017, 10(6), 646;

Magnetically Assisted Bilayer Composites for Soft Bending Actuators

Robotics Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 14213, USA
Novel Aerospace Materials, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, Delft 2629 HS, The Netherlands
Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Institute of Advanced Machines and Design, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrea Alù
Received: 11 May 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
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This article presents a soft pneumatic bending actuator using a magnetically assisted bilayer composite composed of silicone polymer and ferromagnetic particles. Bilayer composites were fabricated by mixing ferromagnetic particles to a prepolymer state of silicone in a mold and asymmetrically distributed them by applying a strong non-uniform magnetic field to one side of the mold during the curing process. The biased magnetic field induces sedimentation of the ferromagnetic particles toward one side of the structure. The nonhomogeneous distribution of the particles induces bending of the structure when inflated, as a result of asymmetric stiffness of the composite. The bilayer composites were then characterized with a scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The bending performance and the axial expansion of the actuator were discussed for manipulation applications in soft robotics and bioengineering. The magnetically assisted manufacturing process for the soft bending actuator is a promising technique for various applications in soft robotics. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft actuator; pneumatic bending actuator; bilayer composite; non-uniform magnetic field; ferromagnetic particles soft actuator; pneumatic bending actuator; bilayer composite; non-uniform magnetic field; ferromagnetic particles

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Jang, S.-H.; Na, S.-H.; Park, Y.-L. Magnetically Assisted Bilayer Composites for Soft Bending Actuators. Materials 2017, 10, 646.

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