Numerical analysis of polymer composites for actuation

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Revue des Composites et des Materiaux Avances


The design of a polymer composite actuator is essential for micro and nano applications. Thus, the composite material may deform or deflects as specific stimuli are applied, such as heat, electrical, light source, etc. The deformation of the composite material is caused by the type of stimulus applied. Hence, while it is heated, the expansion takes place quickly, and the heating is shut down, the material shrinks very slowly. In the present investigation, this phenomenon is mainly studied in the actuation of composite beams. Numerical analysis of carbon black filled polymer composite beam expansion, and contraction is being analyzed in this research. The structure of the beam has been created, and the composite properties are incorporated into the beam, and the uniform heat source is applied on to the surface of the beam. The heating and cooling of the composite material predict the increase and decrease in the temperature of the beam. The numerical analysis of the temperature-dependent expansion and contraction of the composite beam has been carried out successfully. An increase in temperature is observed to signify the slight expansion in the composite beam, whereas the contraction of the composite beam takes a longer time to reach room temperature. Also, the increase in the content of the filler leads to a decrease in the expansion of the composite beam. The numerical simulation of the polymer composite thus provides a solid platform for the experimental study of thermal actuators.

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