Electroactive polymers (EAP): symposium held November 29-December 1, 1999, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

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Q. M. Zhang
Materials Research Society, Jul 17, 2000 - Science - 336 pages
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For many years, electroactive ceramic, magnetostrictive material and shape memory alloys have been the primary source of actuation materials for manipulation and mobility systems. Electroactive polymers (EAPs) received relatively little attention due to their limited capability. Recently, however, effective EAP materials have emerged, changing the paradigm of these materials' capability and potential. Their main attractive characteristic is the operation similarity to biological muscles, where under electrical excitation a large displacement is induced. The potential to operate biologically inspired mechanisms using EAPs as artificial muscles and organs offers exciting applications that are currently considered science fiction. This volume, international in nature, promotes technical exchange of EAP research and development, as well as provides a forum for progress reports. Generally, two groups of materials are covered--dry EAPs and wet EAPs. While overall the dry types require high voltage for their operation, they also provide larger mechanical energy density and can hold a displacement under a DC voltage. Some are also capable of operating to high frequencies (>10 KHz). On the other hand, wet EAPs are superior in requiring low actuation voltage (-a few volts) with high strain generation capabilities, but are sensitive to drying. This type may have difficulties holding a displacement under DC activation.

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