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Effect of metal electrode degradation on the electromechanical performance of actuators based on ionomeric polymer and metal composites

Grant number: 20/10588-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2020
Effective date (End): October 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Carlos Henrique Scuracchio
Grantee:Marina de Sousa de Paula
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Composites of ionomeric polymer and metal (IPMCs) are intelligent materials that have a metal/polymer/metal sandwich structure and can deform in response to electrical stimuli and vice versa. Also, they have low density, flexibility, biocompatibility, and low drive voltage. Therefore, they are promising materials for a wide range of applications: actuators, sensors, robotics, and artificial muscles. The operating mechanism of these devices consists of the migration of hydrated ions inside the polymer's ionomeric channels in response to an electric field generated after the application of a potential difference (DDP) in the metal electrodes, causing a mechanical deformation. For this reason, its electromechanical performance depends on several factors, such as the intensity of the electrical stimulus, counter-ion incorporated into the membrane, and integrity of the metallic electrodes after several cycles of action. Nafion is the most used electroactive polymer for the preparation of IPMCs. Likewise, noble metals such as gold (Au) and platinum (Pt), which have high electrical conductivity and resistance to oxidation, are the elements most used for the formation of electrodes. For any metallic element deposited, it is considered that the failure of the electrode occurs due to fatigue, resulting in a progressive reduction in electrical conductivity, which intensifies with the increase in the deflection amplitude and with the increase in the number of cycles. This is one of the main challenges associated with reducing the electromechanical performance of IPMCs over time. Therefore, this work aims to verify the influence of the applied DDP intensity, amplitude, and the number of cycles on the electromechanical performance of IPMCs in 3 different regions, after 10, 30 and 50 thousand complete cycles of operation. In this work, Nafion 117 will be used as an electroactive polymer and Pt to form the electrodes. For the preparation of IPMCs, the Oguro method will be used.

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