Modeling and application of artificial muscle actuators


Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: English

Student: Fahri Buğra Çamlıca

Supervisor: YAVUZ SAMİM ÜNLÜSOY

Abstract:

Electro Active Polymers (EAPs) are the group of polymeric materials which are also known as the Artificial Muscles that are already available commercially or can be manufactured in laboratory conditions. Artificial muscle actuators are considered as alternatives to conventional electric/pneumatic/hydraulic devices in certain applications which require lightweight actuators. Artificial muscle actuators are not yet capable of completing heavy duty missions, however these flexible actuators do not require additional mechanisms for actuation and their high efficiency outputs make them a strong alternative to conventional systems in future applications. This study is motivated by the potential of the materials known as artificial muscles in replacing the conventional actuators, particularly in aero structures where the weight and cost advantages are strongly emphasized. An exhaustive experimental study of the properties of a suitable representative material is carried out and the mathematical characterization of the material is performed. A model as a typical example of an aero structure in the form of a wing trailing edge is used to establish the capabilities and to ascertain the possibility of application in aero structures.