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As light as air, yet stronger than steel and bendier than rubber. A new material made from bundles of carbon nanotubes combines all of these characteristics in a substance that twitches like a bionic man's biceps when a voltage is applied.
Unlike other popular piezoelectric materials, such as PZT, PVDF has a negative d33 value. Physically, this means that PVDF will compress insteadof expand or vice versa when exposed to the same electric field.
The purpose of looking for this is to apply it in some form to prosthetic limbs.
Electroactive polymers (EAPs) are touted as the basis for future artificial muscles. EAPs can be deformed repetitively by applying external voltage across the EAP, and they can quickly recover their original configuration upon reversing the polarity of the applied voltage. To explore the potential use of EAP’s as artificial muscles, a brief evaluation is presented of an ionic-based EAP composite as a candidate artificial muscle material. The electromechanical properties of the EAP under dry and moist conditions are presented along with the EAP’s performance under load conditions. AS shown through a series of simple tests, the EAP has a high load bearing capacity to mass ratio, short response time, and nearly linear deformation response with respect to applied voltage.