Various design approaches to achieve electric field-driven segmented folding actuation of electroactive polymer (EAP) sheets

Saad Ahmed, Jonathan Hong, Wei Zhang, Jessica Kopatz, Zoubeida Ounaies, Mary Frecker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Electroactive polymer (EAPs) based technologies have shown promise in areas such as artificial muscles, aerospace, medical and soft robotics. In this work, we demonstrate ways to harness on-demand segmented folding actuation from pure bending of relaxor-ferroelectric P(VDF-TrFE-CTFE) based films, using various design approaches, such as 'tiffener' and 'otch' based approaches. The in-plane actuation of the P(VDF-TrFE-CTFE) is converted into bending actuation using unimorph configurations, where one passive substrate layer is attached to the active polymer. First, we experimentally show that placement of thin metal strips as stiffener in between active EAPs and passive substrates leads to segmented actuation as opposed to pure bending actuation; stiffeners made of different materials, such as nickel, copper and aluminum, are studied which reveals that a higher Young's modulus favors more pronounced segmented actuation. Second, notched samples are prepared by mounting passive substrate patches of various materials on top of the passive layers of the unimorph EAP actuators. Effect of notch materials, size of the notches and position of the notches on the folding actuation are studied. The motion of the human finger inspires a finger-like biomimetic actuator, which is realized by assigning multiple notches on the structure; finite element analysis (FEA) is also performed using COMSOL Multiphysics software for the notched finger actuator. Finally, a versatile soft-gripper is developed using the notched approach to demonstrate the capability of a properly designed EAP actuator to hold objects of various sizes and shapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites XII
EditorsHani E. Naguib
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781510616882
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
EventBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites XII 2018 - Denver, United States
Duration: Mar 5 2018Mar 8 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume10596
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Other

OtherBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites XII 2018
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period3/5/183/8/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Ahmed, S., Hong, J., Zhang, W., Kopatz, J., Ounaies, Z., & Frecker, M. (2018). Various design approaches to achieve electric field-driven segmented folding actuation of electroactive polymer (EAP) sheets. In H. E. Naguib (Ed.), Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites XII [105961O] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 10596). SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2309378