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Artificial Muscle Polymer Experiments

Faculty Mentor: Nicholas Witham
Title: Graduate Student
College: Engineering
School / Department: Bioengineering

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.

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
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
Is this a paid opportunity: No
Minimum Requirements: Experience in: Materials science: mechanical, thermal, and experimental