Development of large-movements and high-force electrothermal bimorph actuators based on aligned carbon nanotube reinforced epoxy composites

Keiichi Shirasu, Go Yamamoto, Yoku Inoue, Toshio Ogasawara, Yoshinobu Shimamura, Toshiyuki Hashida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

By using aligned multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) reinforced epoxy composites possessing a negative coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) as well as high Young's modulus and aluminum foils, novel electrothermal bimorph actuators are fabricated. U-shaped bimorph actuators are formed by cutting out the middle part of the composite/aluminum laminates, where the MWCNT-aligned direction is parallel to the length direction of the U-shaped bimorph actuators. We demonstrate that the bimorph actuators with a free length of 16 mm show a large bending displacement and force output, and their values are 7.6–10.0 mm and 0.8–7.8 mN under a DC voltage of 5.2–6.0 V. Based on these results, the bending displacement and force output of the bimorph actuator are modeled by combining strength-of-materials theories and rule of mixtures (Voigt model and Turner's model). By using these models, we indicate contributions from two sources toward the increased bending displacement and force output in the bimorph actuator: (i) designing the Young's modulus and negative CTE of the composite layer by controlling the MWCNT volume fraction and the dimensional parameters (especially thickness) of the bimorph actuator; (ii) selecting materials having a high Young's modulus as well as a large CTE as the second layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-463
Number of pages9
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Volume267
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1

Keywords

  • Carbon nanotube
  • Coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Composite
  • Electrothermal bimorph actuator
  • Young's modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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