Twisted Coiled Polymer Actuator
Up to now, various artificial muscles have been reported. Electro-active polymer (EAP) actuators are the well-known artificial muscles, mostly driven by electrical energy. It is largely divided into dry ones and wet ones. Although EAP actuators show muscle-like characteristics, the dry ones require relatively high-voltage for actuation. On the contrary, wet ones generate too weak actuation forces, though its driving voltage is low. The pneumatic artificial muscles have gainedinterests among the researchers recently. They are composed of elastomeric tube reinforced with mesh or fiber. Since their actuation is produced by using compressed air, it needs supplementary components such as air chamber, pump and valve. Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) is one of the actuators driven by thermal energy. They exhibit good performances on strain and force. However, low driving speed, large hysteresis and difficulty in control are critical drawbacks. Recently, a new type of a thermal-driven artificial muscle was reported. The twisted and coiled polymer actuator (TCA) generates surprisingly high specific power. Its hysteresis is much smaller than SMA, and the temperature range is wide comparing with SMA. It thus seems to be appropriate in practical applications. Diverse studies about TCA have been performed as follows. In order to heat the actuator easily and simply, conductive sewing thread or silver-coated fishing line are adopted. A fabrication method and an experimental device are introduced for the evaluation of TCA. TCAs arranged with a pennate configuration are demonstrated to increase force and vary stiffness. TCA is used as an actuator for a robotic finger or arm.
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• K Kim, SY Yang, JH Park, HS Jung, JU Ko, ST Hwang, JC Koo, H Moon, H Rodrigue, HR Choi. "Torque-compensated bundle of artificial muscle to generate large forces", Materials Research Express 8 (11), 115301, 2021
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