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29 March 2011 Electromechanical fatigue in IPMC under dynamic energy harvesting conditions
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Ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) are an interesting subset of smart, multi-functional materials that have shown promises in energy conversion technologies. Being electromechanically coupled, IPMCs can function as dynamic actuators and sensors, transducers for energy conversion and harvesting, as well as artificial muscles for medical and industrial applications. Like all natural materials, even IPMCs undergo fatigue under dynamic load conditions. Here, we investigate the electromechanical fatigue induced in the IPMCs due to the application of cyclic mechanical bending deformation under hydrodynamic energy harvesting condition. Considering the viscoelastic nature of the IPMC, we employ an analytical approach to modeling electromechanical fatigue primarily under the cyclic stresses induced in the membrane. The polymer-metal composite undergoes cyclic softening throughout the fatigue life without attaining a saturated state of charge migration. However, it results in (1) degradation of electromechanical performance; (2) nucleation and growth of microscopic cracks in the metal electrodes; (3) delamination of metal electrodes at the polymer-electrode interface. To understand these processes, we employ a phenomenological approach based on experimentally measured relaxation properties of the IPMC membrane. Electromechanical performance improves significantly with self-healing like properties for a certain range of relaxation time. This is due to reorientation of the backbone polymer chains which eventually leads to a regenerative process with increased charge transport.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Arvind Krishnaswamy and D. Roy Mahapatra "Electromechanical fatigue in IPMC under dynamic energy harvesting conditions", Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 79762Q (29 March 2011);

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