Material Conducting polymers
Conducting polymers are conjugated polymers, namely organic compounds that have an extended p-orbital system, through which electrons can move from one end of the polymer to the other. The most common are polyaniline (PAni) and polypyrrole (PPY).

Polipyrrole has been used for the development of micro muscles. Polyaniline films sandwiched around a ion-conducting film are considered as material for artificial muscles for robots.

A current flow reduces one side and oxidises the other. Ions are transferred. One side expands and the other contracts, resulting in a bending of the sandwich. Electrical and chemical energies are so transformed in mechanical energy.
Category Responsive (smart) materials, Moving materials
Similar materials Dielectric elastomers
Polymer gels
References DTU, Department of Chemistry
Risų, Condensed Matter Physics
Danfoss A/S
Additional Info Conducting polymers are still at a research level. Commercial applications are not expected before 1-10 years.

Presently, the expected lifetime of the muscle is of 100.000 actuations.
Photo Thomas Nissen (Computer graphics)
Copyright © 1996-2003 Torben Lenau
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