Energetics In Computational Simulation Of Ionic Polymer

Electroactive Polymer

Table 1. Comparison of the properties of EAP, SMA, and EAC

Property EAP SMA EAC
Actuation strain >10% <8% short fatigue life 0.1-0.3%
Force (MPa) 0.1-3 about 700 30-40
Reaction speed μsec to min sec to min μsec to sec
Density 1-2.5 g/cc 5-6 g/cc 6-8 g/cc
Drive voltage 2-7 V/10-150 V/ μm not applicable 50-100 V
Consumed pwr. m-watts watts watts
Fracture toughness resilient, elastic elastic fragile

As an actuator, Ionic Polymer has greater actuation displacement and can be operated under much lower voltages than other electroactive materials.

EAP — Polymers that exhibit shape change in response to electrical stimulation:

  • Electronic EAP (driven by electric field or Coulomb forces)
    • Ferroelectric Polymers: Piezoelectricity is found only in noncentro-symmetric materials and the phenomenon is called ferroelectricity when a nonconducting crystal or dielectric material exhibits spontaneous electric polarization. For expample: Poly(vinylidene fluoride)(PVDF) and its copolymers
    • Dielectric EAP: Polymers with low elastic stiffness and high dielectric constant can be used to induce large actuation strain by subjecting them to an electrostatic field. When a voltage is applied across the compliant electrodes on both side of the polymer film, the polymer shrinks in thickness and expands in area. For example: Dielectric elastomers
  • Ionic EAP (involving mobility or diffusion of ions)
    • Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMCs)

Ionic polymers comprise the active layer in IPMCs

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