WW-EAP Fabrication recipes

The progress of the emerging field of electroactive polymers (EAP) has been hampered by the unavailability of recommended commercial sources of produced EAP actuators. This EAP Recipes homepage was formed to help those who are exploring the potential of EAP and seeking materials. The recipes in this websites were contributed by leading EAP researchers who were willing to share their material preparation procedure. To help advancing the field further, I would appreciate it - if you make improvement of the described procedure - please share it with us by sending me an e-mail. Detailed information about the various materials including content, activation mechanism, etc. are available in the book edited by Y. Bar-Cohen, entitled "Electroactive Polymer (EAP) Actuators as Artificial Muscles - Reality, Potential and Challenges," [2nd Edition, ISBN 0-8194-5297-1, SPIE Press, Vol. PM136, (March 2004)], pp. 1-765]

Caution: Special attention to safety issues is required when making EAP materials as described in this website, and these issues are not the subject of this website. Particularly when making the ionic EAP materials, special safety measures need to be taken and there is a need for advanced expertise and extensive experience in chemistry. Also, caution needs to be taken when using high voltage to activate the Electronic EAP materials.

Ionic EAP

How to make Ion-exchange Polymer Metal matrix Composite (IPMC) - Contribution of Dr. Keisuke Oguro, ONRI, Japan

How to make triple layer made of Polypyrrole and Solid Polymer Electrolyte - Contribution of Dr. José-María Sansiñena and Dr. Virginia Olazábal, JPL's NDEAA Technologies Group.

How to make Freeform Fabrication of Polyacrylamide and Polyacrylic acid cross-linked gels - Contribution of Prof. Paul Calvert, University of Arizona

How to make Carbon Nanotube - EAP - contribution of Giovanni Vozzi, University of Pisa, Italy

Electric Field Activated EAP (Electronic EAP)

Dielectric EAP

Electronic Driver: Generally, Electronic EAPs require the use of high voltage DC transformer
which can be obtained by using HV DC Converters. As an example, one can use the models EMCO Q20 or Q30 that are
available from EMCO High Voltage Corp. Tor questions about the driver circuit diagram with the converter you can send an e-mail to: sales@emcohighvoltage.com.
In order to assure competitive prices - if you know are aware of other suppliers of such transformers please let me know.
Electroding Material: For electrodes you can use conductive carbon grease
Polymer Material: An acrylic adhesive tape from 3M (VHB-4910). The thickness should be uniform and as thin as possible. The required voltage is ~100 to 200 - Volt/micron.

Some information about the processing is also available in a short input that was authored by Keld Westand Peter Sommer-Larsen, Risce, The Danish Polymer Center. The input is entitled "ARTMUS - Artificial Muscles" and it was published in the WW-EAP Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2000) pp. 5-6 . Also, Chapter 16 in the book about EAP that was edited by Bar-Cohen (see above for more information) describes the dielectric EAP in details.

PH activaed polymers

Preparation of PAA-PVA base PH activated EAP - Website of Eric Kirkpatrick, Tina Lorek and Rick Nipper, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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NDEAA Webhub or to the
WorldWide Electroactive Polymers (WW-EAP) Webhub