Artificial muscles based on conducting polymers

María Teresa Cortés, Juan Carlos Moreno
2003 E-Polymers  
AbstractNatural muscles have mechanical properties that conventional actuators do not possess. These natural machines show large strain, moderate stress, high efficiency and stability, fast response time, high power/weight ratio, long lifetime, etc. In the last years a great interest has arisen to develop materials that mimic natural mechanisms. Conducting polymers have an array of potential applications as artificial muscles since they are capable to produce a moderate displacement when
more » ... acement when submitted to an electrochemical reaction. This property has been used to fabricate actuator devices that imitate and even improve the performance of natural muscles. For example, conducting polymers show stresses 15 times higher than those generated by mammalian muscles, a high power/weight ratio and a high degree of compliance. However, there are also several responses that need improvement in the actuators based on conducting polymers. Strains are still c. 50% lower than in natural muscles. Most of this kind of actuators only work in liquid media. It is necessary to increase the response time and obtain more durable actuators with longer lifetime and higher stability. In spite of these disadvantages, the first actuators based on conducting polymers are being commercialized. This paper presents a brief summary of some of the actuators based on these polymers, focusing on their design, performance and actuation mechanism.
doi:10.1515/epoly.2003.3.1.523 fatcat:k44f4cdt2zd7hd3pqatmxh2zna