Advanced Multiphysics Actuation Model of Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites

D. Pugal[1], K. Kim[1], and A. Aabloo[2]
[1]ME Department, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV
[2]University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Published in 2011

Modeling electromechanical actuation of ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) material is considered in this work. Ionic current in the polymer is described with the Poisson-Nernst-Planck system of equations. Calculated ionic concentration is related to the deformation of the material. To include the effect of the electrodes, the ionic current and the electric current in the electrode domains is coupled using Ramo-Shockley theorem. The projection coupling feature of COMSOL is used to implement the theorem.

The model can be applied in 3D calculations. Some components such as the electric potential and cation concentration are calculated in a 2D domain for each time step. Then the values are extruded into a 3D domain where the time dependent deformation is calculated.