Special Issue "Electrochemical and Electromechanical Actuators"

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Leela Mohana Reddy Arava
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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wayne State University, 42 W Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Interests: advanced functional nanomaterials; high-temperature microbatteries and supercapacitors; Li-S & Li-O2 chemistries; fuel cells
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Nirul Masurkar
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Interests: microfabrication; nanomaterials; MEMS/NEMS; batteries; sensors and actuators
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today’s requirements for actuators in a range of applications has been significantly augmented to provide better system capabilities to yield a higher performance and efficiency. Actuators are often integrated with microsystems consisting of sensors and electronic circuits in order to fulfil the demand and expectations of multifunctional and smart devices. Since the last decade, various actuators have been consistently studied using new smart materials. Specifically, stimuli-responsive materials that swell, shrink, or are torsional or tensile in response of environmental changes, such as temperature, light (photonic), and electric fields. Extensive research is ongoing to demonstrate an energy conversion system by transforming chemical energy into mechanical energy, using carbon, metal, polymers, nanomaterials (TMDs, CNT, Graphene) and biopolymer-like fibers, yarns, and hydrogels. The control volume change of the smart materials, by inducing external stimuli, provides new opportunities in the fields of the artificial muscles, robotics, MEMS, and transportation devices.

This Special Issue is intended to addresses all aspects of electrochemical and electromechanical actuator research and development. This Special Issue will provide an opportunity for leading researchers to submit their contribution, to share the past, present, and future directions of electrochemical and electromechanical actuators and to discuss their recent research outcomes. Contributions from industries and private sector are encouraged, and both theoretical and experimental works are welcomed. Potential topics include, but are not limited, to:

  • Nanomaterial actuators, such as CNT, TMDs, Graphene;
  • Ion-exchange polymer–metal composites (IPMCs);
  • Electro-active/conducting polymer actuators;
  • Ionic liquid actuators;
  • Piezoelectric actuators;
  • Biomechanical sensors and actuators;
  • Fabrication of MEMS sensor and actuators
  • 3D printed soft actuators;
  • Electromechanical Sensors and microsystem.

Dr. Leela Mohana Reddy Arava
Mr. Nirul Masurkar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Electrochemical actuators
  • Electromechanical actuators
  • Nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes, graphene, etc.) and conducting polymer-based actuators
  • Biomimetic sensors and actuators
  • Artificial muscles

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Modelling and Control of Ionic Electroactive Polymer Actuators under Varying Humidity Conditions
Actuators 2018, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/act7010007 - 20 Feb 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3877
Abstract
In this work, we address the problem of position control of ionic electroactive polymer soft actuators under varying relative humidity conditions. The impact of humidity on the actuation performance of ionic actuators is studied through frequency response and impedance spectroscopy analysis. Considering the [...] Read more.
In this work, we address the problem of position control of ionic electroactive polymer soft actuators under varying relative humidity conditions. The impact of humidity on the actuation performance of ionic actuators is studied through frequency response and impedance spectroscopy analysis. Considering the uncertain performance of the actuator under varying humidity conditions, an adaptable model using the neural network method is developed. The model uses relative humidity magnitude as one of the model parameters, making it robust to different environmental conditions. Utilizing the model, a closed-loop controller based on the model predictive controller is developed for position control of the actuator. The developed model and controller are experimentally verified and found to be capable of predicting and controlling the actuators with excellent tracking accuracy under relative humidity conditions varying in the range of 10–90%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical and Electromechanical Actuators)
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Article
Piezoelectric Motor Using In-Plane Orthogonal Resonance Modes of an Octagonal Plate
Actuators 2018, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/act7010002 - 06 Jan 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3992
Abstract
Piezoelectric motors use the inverse piezoelectric effect, where microscopically small periodical displacements are transferred to continuous or stepping rotary or linear movements through frictional coupling between a displacement generator (stator) and a moving (slider) element. Although many piezoelectric motor designs have various drive [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric motors use the inverse piezoelectric effect, where microscopically small periodical displacements are transferred to continuous or stepping rotary or linear movements through frictional coupling between a displacement generator (stator) and a moving (slider) element. Although many piezoelectric motor designs have various drive and operating principles, microscopic displacements at the interface of a stator and a slider can have two components: tangential and normal. The displacement in the tangential direction has a corresponding force working against the friction force. The function of the displacement in the normal direction is to increase or decrease friction force between a stator and a slider. Simply, the generated force alters the friction force due to a displacement in the normal direction, and the force creates movement due to a displacement in the tangential direction. In this paper, we first describe how the two types of microscopic tangential and normal displacements at the interface are combined in the structures of different piezoelectric motors. We then present a new resonance-drive type piezoelectric motor, where an octagonal plate, with two eyelets in the middle of the two main surfaces, is used as the stator. Metallization electrodes divide top and bottom surfaces into two equal regions orthogonally, and the two driving signals are applied between the surfaces of the top and the bottom electrodes. By controlling the magnitude, frequency and phase shift of the driving signals, microscopic tangential and normal displacements in almost any form can be generated. Independently controlled microscopic tangential and normal displacements at the interface of the stator and the slider make the motor have lower speed–control input (driving voltage) nonlinearity. A test linear motor was built by using an octagonal piezoelectric plate. It has a length of 25.0 mm (the distance between any of two parallel side surfaces) and a thickness of 3.0 mm, which can produce an output force of 20 N. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical and Electromechanical Actuators)
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Article
Efficient Structure-Based Models for the McKibben Contraction Pneumatic Muscle Actuator: The Full Description of the Behaviour of the Contraction PMA
Actuators 2017, 6(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/act6040032 - 27 Oct 2017
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 6259
Abstract
To clarify the advantages of using soft robots in all aspects of life, the effective behaviour of the pneumatic muscle actuator (PMA) must be known. In this work, the performances of the PMA are explained and modelled with three formulas. The first formula [...] Read more.
To clarify the advantages of using soft robots in all aspects of life, the effective behaviour of the pneumatic muscle actuator (PMA) must be known. In this work, the performances of the PMA are explained and modelled with three formulas. The first formula describes the pulling force of the actuator based on the structure parameters; furthermore, the formula presented is the generalised contraction force for wholly-pneumatic muscle actuators. The second important model is the length formula, which is modified to our previous work to fit different actuator structures. Based on these two models, the stiffness of the actuator is formulated to illustrate its variability at different air pressure amounts. In addition, these formulas will make the selection of proper actuators for any robot arm structure easier using the knowledge gained from their performance. On the other hand, the desired behaviour of this type of actuator will be predefined and controlled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical and Electromechanical Actuators)
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Review

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Review
Recent Progress on BaTiO3-Based Piezoelectric Ceramics for Actuator Applications
Actuators 2017, 6(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/act6030024 - 31 Jul 2017
Cited by 101 | Viewed by 7596
Abstract
Due to issues with Pb toxicity, there is an urgent need for high performance Pb-free alternatives to Pb-based piezoelectric ceramics. Although pure BaTiO3 material exhibits fairly low piezoelectric coefficients, further designing of such a material system greatly enhances the piezoelectric response by [...] Read more.
Due to issues with Pb toxicity, there is an urgent need for high performance Pb-free alternatives to Pb-based piezoelectric ceramics. Although pure BaTiO3 material exhibits fairly low piezoelectric coefficients, further designing of such a material system greatly enhances the piezoelectric response by means of domain engineering, defects engineering, as well as phase boundary engineering. Especially after the discovery of a Ba(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3x(Ba0.7Ca0.3)TiO3 system with extraordinarily high piezoelectric properties (d33 > 600 pC/N), BaTiO3-based piezoelectric ceramics are considered as one of the promising Pb-free substitutes. In the present contribution, we summarize the idea of designing high property BaTiO3 piezoceramic through domain engineering, defect-doping, as well as morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). In spite of its drawback of low Curie temperature, BaTiO3-based piezoelectric materials can be considered as an excellent model system for exploring the physics of highly piezoelectric materials. The relevant material design strategy in BaTiO3-based materials can provide guidelines for the next generation of Pb-free materials with even better piezoelectric properties that can be anticipated in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical and Electromechanical Actuators)
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