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Open AccessArticle

Enhancement of Biodegradable Poly(Ethylene Oxide) Ionic–Polymer Metallic Composite Actuators with Nanocrystalline Cellulose Fillers

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Citadel, Charleston, SC 29409, USA
2
Materials Research and Education Center, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
3
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Actuators 2018, 7(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/act7040072
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials-Based Actuators)
Biodegradable ionic polymer metallic composite (IPMC) electroactive polymers (EAPs) were fabricated using poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) with various concentrations of lithium perchlorate. Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) rods created from a sulfuric acid hydrolysis process were added at various concentrations to increase the EAPs’ elastic modulus and improve their electromechanical properties. The electromechanical actuation was studied. PEONCC composites were created from combining a 35-mg/mL aqueous NCC suspension with an aqueous, PEO solution at varying vol.%. Due to an imparted space charge from the hydrolysis process, composites with an added 1.5 vol.% of NCC suspension exhibited an electromechanical tip displacement, strain, and elastic modulus that was 40.7%, 33.4% and 20.1% higher, respectively, than those for PEO IPMCs without NCC. This performance represented an increase of 300% in the energy density of these samples. However, the electromechanical response decreased when the NCC content was high. NCC without the space charge were also tested to verify the analysis. Additionally, the development of new relationships for modeling and evaluating the time-dependent instantaneous tip angular velocity and acceleration was discussed and applied to these IPMCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: electroactive polymer; poly(ethylene oxide); nanocrystalline cellulose; lithium perchlorate; IPMC electroactive polymer; poly(ethylene oxide); nanocrystalline cellulose; lithium perchlorate; IPMC
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bass, P.S.; Zhang, L.; Tu, M.; Cheng, Z. Enhancement of Biodegradable Poly(Ethylene Oxide) Ionic–Polymer Metallic Composite Actuators with Nanocrystalline Cellulose Fillers. Actuators 2018, 7, 72.

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