An alternative explanation of back-relaxation in ionic polymer metal composites

M. Porfiri, A. Leronni, L. Bardella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The phenomenon of back-relaxation in ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) has attracted the interest of the scientific community for two decades, but its physical origins largely remain elusive. Here, we propose an explanation of this phenomenon based on Maxwell stress. From first principles, we demonstrate that IPMC actuation is controlled by the nonlinear interplay between osmotic and electrostatic phenomena. While osmotic pressure tends to produce a rapid bending toward the anode, Maxwell stress generates a slow relaxation toward the cathode. The relative weight of these phenomena is determined by the applied voltage. At voltage levels comparable to the thermal voltage, IPMC actuation is dominated by osmotic effects. As the applied voltage is increased, Maxwell stress overcomes the osmotic pressure, leading to back-relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • Actuator
  • Electrochemistry
  • Maxwell stress
  • Poisson–Nernst–Planck

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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