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Publication - Dr Majid Taghavi

    Thermoplastic electroactive gels for 3D-printable artificial muscles

    Citation

    Helps, T, Taghavi, M & Rossiter, J, 2019, ‘Thermoplastic electroactive gels for 3D-printable artificial muscles’. Smart Materials and Structures, vol 28.

    Abstract

    3D-printable artificial muscles have only recently garnered interest, and few 3D-printed artificial muscles have been demonstrated. In this article, we introduce the concept of thermoplastic electroactive gels, new smart materials that can be fabricated simply and rapidly by heating, overcoming the limitations of previous dangerous and time-consuming solvent-based manufacturing methods, and enabling hot-pressing, melt-recycling, extrusion and 3D-printing. We present and characterise a new example material, PVC-DIDA (polyvinyl chloride and diisodecyl adipate) gel and demonstrate multi-layer PVC-DIDA gel artificial muscles. Finally, the extrudability of PVC-DIDA gel is confirmed, and an artificial muscle made from extruded electroactive gel is presented. The electroactivity and extrudability of these thermoplastic gels highlights them as excellent candidate materials for 3D-printing artificial muscle structures.

    Full details in the University publications repository