The demands for new types of artificial muscles continue to grow and novel approaches are being enabled by the advent of new materials and novel fabrication strategies. Self-powered actuators have attracted significant attention due to their ability to be driven by elements in the ambient environment such as moisture. In this study, we demonstrate the use of twisted and coiled wet-spun hygroscopic chitosan fibers to achieve a novel torsional artificial muscle. The coiled fibers exhibited significant torsional actuation where the free end of the coiled fiber rotated up to 1155 degrees per mm of coil length when hydrated. This value is 96%, 362%, and 2210% higher than twisted graphene fiber, carbon nanotube torsional actuators, and coiled nylon muscles, respectively. A model based on a single helix was used to evaluate the torsional actuation behavior of these coiled chitosan fibers.
Available for download on Tuesday, June 19, 2018