Publication Details

This article was originally published as John, SW, Alici, G & Cook, CD, Validation of Resonant Frequency Model for Polypyrrole Trilayer Actuators, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 13(4), 2008, 401-409. Copyright Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 2008. Original article available here


Conducting polymers are new materials that can be used as low-voltage actuators and active flexure joints, scaling down to the microscale; however, many devices based on these actuators are limited because they can only operate when submerged in an electrolyte. Conducting polymer trilayer actuators are laminated structures with a wide range of potential applications as they are capable of operating both in air and liquid environments, but their dynamic behavior is not yet fully understood.With the view to developing a comprehensive dynamic model of trilayer actuators, this paper presents the experimentally obtained frequency response of the actuator displacement, as measured using a laser displacement sensor. A model of the resonant frequency is also presented and then comprehensively validated using actuators of various geometry and loading. This model can be used to: 1) estimate properties of the trilayer actuator from experimental measurements; 2) quantify and optimize an actuator’s dynamic behavior as a function of geometry; and 3) facilitate the use of these actuators as a component in practical applications, such as force and motion control systems.

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