About the EuroEAP platform
The EuroEAP platform is an instrument created and managed by the EuroEAP Society to integrate the following outcomes of its networking activities in the field of Electromechanically Active Polymer (EAP) transducers & artificial muscles for actuation, sensing and energy harvesting:
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About EAP transducers & artificial muscles
EAPs represent a fast growing and promising scientific field of research and development. They are studied for devices and systems implemented with ‘smart materials’ inherently capable of changing dimensions and/or shape in response to suitable electrical stimuli, so as to transduce electrical energy into mechanical work. They can also operate in reverse mode, transducing mechanical energy into the electrical form. Therefore, they can be used as actuators, mechano-electrical sensors, as well as energy harvesters to generate electricity. For such tasks, EAPs show unique properties, such as sizable electrically-driven active strains or stresses, high mechanical flexibility, low density, structural simplicity, ease of processing and scalability, no acoustic noise and, in most cases, low costs. Owing to their functional and structural properties, electromechanical transducers based on these materials are usually refereed to as EAP ‘artificial muscles’.
EAP materials are typically classified in two major classes: ionic EAPs and electronic EAPs. The former are activated by an electrically-induced transport of ions and/or solvent molecules, while the latter are activated by electrostatic forces. Ionic EAPs comprehend polymer gels, ionic polymer metal composites, conducting polymers, and carbon nanotubes. Electronic EAPs comprehend piezoelectric polymers, electrostrictive polymers, dielectric elastomers, liquid crystal elastomers, and carbon nanotube aerogels.
EAPs are today studied for applications that so far have been unachievable with conventional actuation technologies, with usage spanning from the micro- to the macro- scale, in several fields, including robotics, automation, prosthetics, orthotics, artificial organs, optics, energy harvesting and even aerospace.
Read more about the Scientific background.