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Ionic CNT actuators and arrays - towards cost-efficient manufacturing through scalable dispersion and printing processes

: Neuhaus, Raphael; Bitzer, Veronika; Jablockin, Julia; Glanz, Carsten; Kolaric, Ivica; Siegert, Jörg; Bauernhansl, Thomas

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5725929 (686 KByte PDF)
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Created on: 21.1.2020

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; American Society of Mechanical Engineers -ASME-:
IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, AIM 2019. Proceedings : July 8-12, 2019, Hong Kong, China
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-7281-2493-3
ISBN: 978-1-7281-2494-0
ISBN: 978-1-7281-2492-6
International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM) <2019, Hong Kong>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Aktor; Beschichten; Carbon Nanotube (CNT); dispersion; Elektroaktives Polymer (EAP); Lackieren; upscaling

As one type of ionic electroactive polymer, carbon nanotube (CNT) actuators have attracted large interest from industry and academia due to their small actuation voltages, relatively large actuation response and their flexible and soft mechanical characteristics. Until today, manufacturing is based on labor-intensive laboratory techniques involving costly materials, tedious handling procedures and increased safety precautions. Additionally, their sophisticated chemical compositions, poor reproducibility and sensitivity to environmental influences have so far limited a wider application range. This paper investigates the key findings in optimizing and scaling up manufacturing related processes for CNT actuators and addresses new approaches towards simplified system integration. It was found that the predominantly used single-walled CNTs can be substituted by much cheaper multi-walled CNTs with having only minor effects on the actuator performance. First tests showed that by employing industrially scalable dispersion techniques and automated printing processes, CNT actuators can be manufactured faster, in larger quantities and with strongly reduced variance in actuator performance. New approaches for safe and simple system integration have been tested and new means of dielectric coating encapsulation were investigated.