Effect of nafion hydration on its actuation characteristics
Hildesley, M; Al-Jumaily, AM; Paxton, RA; Ramos, MV
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Traditionally Nafion is actuated while being hydrated along its surface. This paper presents an investigation into the electro-active actuation characteristics of Nafion while being hydrated from one of its edges to avoid direct water contact with the surface. The effectiveness of actuation of electrically excited platinum coated Nafion cantilever past a 12 minute time period without direct hydration is investigated. While cantilever strips were subjected to pressurised water at the fixed end, both coated and uncoated Nafion actuation characteristics were investigated for amplitude and time of response. . The oscillations of coated strips were able to be sustained for more than 24 hours with the techniques used. Although there was a decrease in the amount of deflection over the time period, the results suggest that hydration of the Nafion substrate can be maintained without complete surface contact, and a platinum coated region can perform as an actuator, continuously, for longer periods than previously observed in air.