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The electrical behavior of an Ionic Polymer-Metal Composite (IPMC) is investigated. IPMCs are new materials of increasing interest in robotic applications, to implement artificial muscles. They are particularly light and they deform if electrically stimulated with a very low voltage. The paper illustrates a model that describes the electrical response of an IPMC as actuator by using an equivalent circuit. It is a totally new nonlinear lamped parameter model which is able to describe all the phenomena observed in the electrical current through the material, including hysteretic phenomena. The model has been validated by a large number of comparisons between simulations and experimental data. In all the cases analyzed the simulations agree with experimental data.