Special Issue "Polymeric Actuators"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Salvatore Graziani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, Elettronica e Informatica, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: artificial intelligence; neural networks; soft sensors; ionic polymeric transducers; sensor modelling and characterization; mechanical sensors; energy harvesting; smart materials; smart sensing systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Stimulus-responsive polymers will be relevant for the realization of smart systems. Polymers, have become available that respond to many stimuli, such as heat (thermo-responsive materials), stress/pressure (mechano-responsive materials), electric current/voltage (electro-responsive materials) magnetic field (magneto-responsive materials), pH change/solvent/moisture (chemo-responsive materials), and light (photo-responsive materials).

The number of proposed applications is growing at an impressive rate. Polymeric actuators have been proposed for the realization of smart systems, able to solve even the most complex problems, with little or no human intervention, in strategic sectors such as bio-inspired robotics, aerospace, and nanomedicine to name a few.

We are talking about, e.g., bio-inspired underwater robots that can take care of repetitive or dangerous tasks, active prostheses to help the rehabilitation of patients, systems, capable of delivering drugs on the basis of well-established protocols, or even artificial organs and tissues.

The number and the quality of the proposed applications have increased in time, according to the improvements in the technologies for their realization and in the knowledge of the polymer behavior.

In fact, on one hand, new production technologies are, along with models, capable of better describing actuator capabilities, of chief importance in the development of meaningful applications. On the other hand, newly envisaged applications demand better materials and efficient, yet accurate, models. The envisaged systems will the result of the continuous advances in the synthesis of new polymers, including nanocomposites, modeling, including mutiphysics models, and applications including, but not limited to, nanomedicine, aerospace, and bio-inspired robotics. Challenges exist for all the three investigation fields mentioned above, and contributions are welcome on the following topics:

 

  • Polymeric actuators
  • Nanocomposites
  • Multiplysic models
  • Medicine
  • Nanomedicine
  • Aerospace
  • Robotics
  • Bio-inspired robotics

Dr. Salvatore Graziani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
An All-InkJet Printed Bending Actuator with Embedded Sensing Feature and an Electromagnetic Driving Mechanism
Actuators 2016, 5(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/act5030021 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4966
Abstract
Bending actuators are key elements in many application fields. This paper presents an InkJet Printed actuator embedding an electromagnetic driving mechanism and a resistive sensing strategy. The lateral actuation range of the device is in the order of few millimeters, while it can [...] Read more.
Bending actuators are key elements in many application fields. This paper presents an InkJet Printed actuator embedding an electromagnetic driving mechanism and a resistive sensing strategy. The lateral actuation range of the device is in the order of few millimeters, while it can exert forces in the order up to 375 µN. A deep characterization of the device is presented which reveals good performance of the lab-scale prototype developed both in the static and dynamic regime. In particular, the responsivity is found to be a function of the magnetic field used to actuate the beam. Specifically, responsivities of 43.5 × 10−3 m/A, 28.3 × 10−3 m/A and 19.5 × 10−3 m/A have been estimated in the static condition in the case of magnetic fields of 98.8 mT, 70.6 mT and 37.1 mT, respectively, while at the resonance frequency of 4.1 Hz the responsivity is 51 × 10−3 m/A in case of a magnetic field of 37.1 mT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Actuators)
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Article
Novel Arrangements for High Performance and Durable Dielectric Elastomer Actuation
Actuators 2016, 5(3), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/act5030020 - 21 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4819
Abstract
This paper advances the design of Rod Pre-strained Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (RP-DEAs) in their capability to generate comparatively large static actuation forces with increased lifetime via optimized electrode arrangements. RP-DEAs utilize thin stiff rods to constrain the expansion of the elastomer and maintain [...] Read more.
This paper advances the design of Rod Pre-strained Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (RP-DEAs) in their capability to generate comparatively large static actuation forces with increased lifetime via optimized electrode arrangements. RP-DEAs utilize thin stiff rods to constrain the expansion of the elastomer and maintain the in-plane pre-strain in the rod longitudinal direction. The aim is to study both the force output and the durability of the RP-DEA. Initial design of the RP-DEA had poor durability, however, it generated significantly larger force compared with the conventional DEA due to the effects of pre-strain and rod constraints. The durability study identifies the in-electro-active-region (in-AR) lead contact and the non-uniform deformation of the structure as causes of pre-mature failure of the RP-DEA. An optimized AR configuration is proposed to avoid actuating undesired areas in the structure. The results show that with the optimized AR, the RP-DEA can be effectively stabilized and survive operation at least four times longer than with a conventional electrode arrangement. Finally, a Finite Element simulation was also performed to demonstrate that such AR design and optimization can be guided by analyzing the DEA structure in the state of pre-activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Actuators)
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