Modeling of a soft multiple-shape-memory ionic polymer-metal composite actuator

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering






The multiple-shape-memory ionic polymer-metal composite (MSM-IPMC) actuator can demonstrate complex 3D deformation. The MSM-IPMC have two characteristics, which are the electro-mechanical actuation effect and the thermal-mechanical shape memory effect. The bending, twisting, and oscillating motions of the actuator could be controlled simultaneously or separately by means of thermal-mechanical and electro-mechanical transactions. In our study, we theoretically modelled and experimentally investigated the MSM-IPMC. We proposed a new physical principle to explain the shape memory behavior. A theoretical model of the multiple shape memory effect of MSMIPMC was developed. It is based on the assumption that the multiple shape memory effect is caused by the thermal stress and each individual Young's modulus is 'memorized' during the previous programming process. As the MSM-IPMC was reheated to each temperature, the corresponding thermal stress was applied on the MSM-IPMC, and the Young's modulus was recovered, which result in the shape recovery of the MSM-IPMC. To verify the model, a MSM-IPMC sample was prepared. Experimental tests of MSM-IPMC were conducted. By comparing the simulation results and the experimental results, both results have a good agreement. The current study is beneficial for the better understanding of the underlying physics of MSM-IPMC. © 2017 SPIE.



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