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7 June 2000 Electrically activated artificial muscles made with liquid crystal elastomers
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Abstract
Composites of monodomain nematic liquid crystal elastomers and a conducting material distributed within their network are shown to exhibit large deformations, i.e. contraction, expansion, bending with strains of over 200% and appreciable force, by Joule heating through electrical activation. The electrical activation of the conducting material induces a rapid Joule heating in the sample leading to a nematic to isotropic phase transition where the elastomer of dimensions 32 mm x 7 mm x 0.4 mm contracted in less than a second. The cooling process, isotropic to nematic transition where the elastomer expands back to its original length, was slow and took 8 seconds. The material studied here is a highly novel liquid crystalline co-elastomer, invented and developed by Heino Finkelmann and co-workers at Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet in Freiburg, Germany. The material is such that in which the mesogenic units are in both the side chains and the main chains of the elastomer. This co-elastomer was then mechanically loaded to induce a uniaxial network anisotropy before the cross-linking reaction was completed. These samples were then made into a composite with a conducting material such as dispersed silver particles or graphite fibers. The final samples was capable of undergoing more than 200% reversible strain in a few seconds.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Mohsen Shahinpoor "Electrically activated artificial muscles made with liquid crystal elastomers", Proc. SPIE 3987, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (7 June 2000); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.387777
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