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Keywords:

  • actuator;
  • artificial muscle;
  • distribution;
  • electroactive polymer;
  • IPMC;
  • membranes

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Actuation of (a) Nafion IPMC and (b) IPMC prepared in this study.

Summary: To develop ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMC) with improved performance, three new ion-exchange membranes were prepared and employed in IPMC construction. The membranes were prepared by radiation-grafting of polystyrene sulfonic acid onto three fluoropolymers; poly(vinylidenefluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene), poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene), and poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-hexafluoropropylene). The bending displacements of the IPMCs constructed with these membranes were at least several times larger than that of Nafion IPMC of similar thickness without straightening-back. The larger displacement was considered to be due to the higher concentration of ionic groups and consequent larger ion-exchange capacity.