Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Woosoom Yim

Number of Pages



In this thesis dynamic properties of Ionic Polymer Metal Composite (IPMC) is studied. The ionic polymer (IPMC) is made out of a high polymer gel film whose surface is plated with platinum. This ionic polymer finds its application in future as artificial muscle. Analytical modeling method for both single and segmented ionic polymer which can exhibit varying curvature along the polymer was introduced. This segmented ionic polymer can generate more flexible propulsion compared with a single strip ionic polymer where only forward propulsion can be generated by a simple oscillatory bending motion. It is well known in biomimetic system research that a simple bending motion has lower efficiency than a snake-like wavy motion in propulsion. In this segmented ionic polymer each segment can be bent individually. This segmented ionic polymer design consists of a number of independent electrode sections along the length of the ionic polymer to realize the undulatory motion by selectively activating each segment. The magnitude of curvature can be controlled by adjusting the voltage level applied across each segment. In this thesis we focus on the development of an analytical model to predict the deflection of this single and segmented ionic polymers and the model is validated with experimental results. Due to the complexity of the polymer, it is necessary to find the dynamic parameters from the experimental data. After proper tuning of dynamic model, this can be used for various control applications including the underwater robotic propulsor device design and others. The dynamic model developed in this work reasonable complies with experimental data and can be further developed for future control algorithm design.


Characterization; Composite; Dynamic; Ionic; Ipmc; Metal; Polymer; Property

Controlled Subject

Mechanics; Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

2007.04 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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