DOI: 10.17586/2226-1494-2018-18-4-606-613


G. K. Elyashevich, I. S. Kuryndin, I. Y. Dmitriev, P. V. Vlasov, V. P. Ivanov

Read the full article 
Article in Russian

For citation: Elyashevich G.K., Kuryndin I.S., Dmitriev I.Yu., Vlasov P.V., Ivanov V.P. Electromechanical systems based on polymer hydrogels for micro-scale actuators. Scientific and Technical Journal of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, 2018, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 606–613 (in Russian). doi: 10.17586/2226-1494-2018-18-4-606-613


The paper proposes a novel approach to the construction of actuators for automation and robotics based on the use of new electroactive polymer materials – swelling hydrogels. The hydrogel pH-sensitive materials containing two polymer components, crosslinked polyacrylic acid and polyvinyl alcohol, are obtained. A procedure for the synthesis of hybrid hydrogel is described, and the achieved values of their characteristics, degrees of swelling in water and water solution of salt, are given. A method of hydrogel elements preparation with a specified geometric configuration was developed, and cylindrical and also ring-shaped samples were prepared. Mechanical properties of the prepared hydrogels at compression were measured. It is shown that the hybrid hydrogels exhibit higher strength and elasticity than the one-component polyacrylic acid hydrogels obtained by the same method. An actuator design is proposed with a hydrogel as a controlled element. An experimental layout of such actuator was constructed. The stability of material characteristics was determined, and methods for the electrodes fixation and electric current supply were developed. It was found that ring-shaped samples of hydrogels demonstrate electromechanical response – compression when electric current passes through their cross section. This fact was the evidence that these hydrogels can be used as a linearly operating generator of mechanical force. It is shown that this effect is more pronounced for samples swollen in water solution of sodium sulfate rather than in distilled water.

Keywords: electromechanical response, polymer hydrogels, polyacrylic acid, polyvinyl alcohol, actuators, mechanical properties

1.     Classical and State-of-the-Art Control Theory Methods. Eds. Egupov N.D., Pupkov K.A. Moscow, MSTU named by N.E. Bauman Publ., 2004. (in Russian)
2.     Teryaev E.D., Filimonov N.B. Nanomechatronics: the condition, problems, prospects. Mekhatronika, Avtomatizatsiya, Upravlenie, 2010, no. 1, pp. 2–14. (in Russian)
3.     Carpi F. Electromechanically Active Polymers. Switzerland, Springer, 2016, 798 p.
4.     Bar-Cohen Y. Electroactive Polymer (EAP) Actuators as Artificial Muscles: Reality, Potential, and Challenges. 2nd ed. Bellingham, SPIE Press, 2004, 816 p.
5.     Osada Y., Khokhlov A.R. Polymer Gels and Networks. NY, Marcel Dekker, 2002, 384 p.
6.     Shiga T. Deformation and viscoelastic behavior of polymer gels in electric fields. Advances in Polymer Science, 1997, vol. 134, pp. 131–163. doi: 10.1007/3-540-68449-2_2
7.     Ito H., Kezuka K. Polymer Actuator. Patent US 20070190150A1, 2007.
8.     Shahinpoor M. Spring-loaded polymeric gel actuators. Patent US 5389222, 1993.
9.     Elyashevich G.K., Smirnov M.A., Bobrova N.V., Dmitriev I.Yu., Bukošek V. Multicomponent electroactive and pH-sensitive smart composites based on polypyrrole, polyacrylic acid hydrogels, and polyethylene porous films. Smart Nanocomposites, 2012, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 123–136.
10.  Otake M., Kagami Y., Inaba M., Inoue H. Motion design of a starfish-shaped gel robots made of electroactive polymer gel. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2002, vol. 40, no. 2-3, pp. 185–191. doi: 10.1016/s0921-8890(02)00243-9
11.  Jayaramudu T., Ko H.U., Kim H.C., Kim J.W., Li Y., Kim J. Transparent and semi-interpenetrating network P(vinyl alcohol)-P(Acrylic acid) hydrogels: pH responsive and electroactive application. International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials, 2017, vol. 8, no. 2-3, pp. 80–94. doi: 10.1080/19475411.2017.1335247
12.  Budtova T., Suleimenov I., Frenkel S. Electrokinetics of the contraction of a polyelectrolyte hydrogel under the influence of constant electric current. Polymer Gels and Networks, 1995, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 387–393. doi: 10.1016/0966-7822(94)00031-2
13.  Rasmussen L., Erickson C.J., Meixler L. et al. Considerations for contractile electroactive polymeric materials and actuators. Polymer International, 2010, vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 290–299. doi: 10.1002/pi.2763
14.  Dmitriev I. Yu., Bobrova N. V., Ivanov V. P., Elyashevich G. K. Electrically controlled element of actuator based on hydrogel. Patent RU 175272, 2017.
15.  Bel’nikevich N.G., Bobrova N.V., Elokhovskii V.Yu., Zoolshoev Z.F., Smirnov M.A., Elyashevich G.K.Effect of initiator on the structure of hydrogels of cross-linked polyacrylic acid. Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2011, vol. 84, no. 12, pp. 1222–1229. doi: 10.1134/S1070427211120160
16.  Ivanov V.P., Dmitriev I.Yu., Bizin M.M., Dashevskii V.P., Elyashevich G. K. Actuator. Patent RU 175482, 2017.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
Copyright 2001-2019 ©
Scientific and Technical Journal
of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.
All rights reserved.