27 July 2004 Bending induced by creeping of plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) gel
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Poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) plasticized with large amount of plasticizer has been investigated as a material for artificial muscle or actuator that can be actuated by applying an electric field. This material shows "creep deformation" on an electrode. The deformation looks like a pseudopodial deformation of amoeba. The deformation can be utilized for swift bending motility. In this paper, we investigated the mechanism of the creep deformation. Microscopic Raman spectroscopy revealed that the orientation of polymer network or plasticizer molecule was hardly detectable under the experimental conditions employed for the electrical actuation. Orientation of plasticizer was detected only slightly at higher field application. Small angle X-ray scattering analysis clarified that the PVC gel (plasticized PVC) sustains network structure even at the very high plasticizer content like 90wt%. With the increase of plasticizer content, space distance increased linearly, implying the network structure is sustained. This nature of the PVC gel plays a critical roll in the elastic creep deformation. The network structure of the gel depends on the chemical nature of the plasticizer itself. When the increase of plasticizer content caused serious deterioration of the physical network of PVC polymer chain, the PVC gel only deformed irreversibly by creep. The bending deformation also investigated from the viewpoint of electrode asymmetry. The results suggest effective charge injection and the charge concentration on the electrode is the controlling factor of this amoeba-like deformation.
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Toshihiro Hirai, Toshihiro Hirai, Shigeyuki Kobayashi, Shigeyuki Kobayashi, Mitsuhiro Hirai, Mitsuhiro Hirai, Masaki Yamaguchi, Masaki Yamaguchi, Md. Zulhash Uddin, Md. Zulhash Uddin, Masashi Watanabe, Masashi Watanabe, Hirofusa Shirai, Hirofusa Shirai, "Bending induced by creeping of plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) gel", Proc. SPIE 5385, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (27 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.541785; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.541785

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