Artificial Muscle Polymer Experiments

Faculty Name:
Nicholas Witham

Department:
Bioengineering

Faculty College:
Engineering

Email:
nicholas.witham@utah.edu


Project Description:

Twisted coiled polymer actuators (TCPAs) are an emergent type of thermomotive artificial muscle that have recently biome-chanically surpassed human skeletal muscles (HSM). Post annealing, an increase in temperature causes a twisted elastomeric fiber to untwist, but when coiled it dissipates the torsional energy through up-coiling to obey the law of topological invariance. This all results in tensile contraction (TC) and Tensile Stress (TS). We are trying to optimize the polymer material properties to improve action.



Opportunity Type:

Prepare a UROP proposal; Write an Honors Thesis or Senior Thesis; Earn independent study credit; Volunteer; This is a work-study research position


Student Role:

Polymer Extrusion, Characterization, and Optimization


Student Benefits:

Potential publication authorship, conference attendance, and patent ownership


Project Duration:

Duration: August 2022 Hours per week: 8 hours minimum


Minimum Requirements:

Experience in: Materials science: mechanical, thermal, and experimental