This paper presents the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of an ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) material. The IPMC materials are known to bend when electric field is applied on the electrodes. The material also produces potential difference on the electrodes when is bent. Several authors have used the FEA to describe that fenomenon and rather precise basic Finite Element (FE) models already exist. Therefore the current study is mainly focused on the modeling of the electrodes of IPMC. The first goal of this research is to model the electric currents in the electrodes. The basis of the electric current calculations is the Ramo-Shockley theorem, which has been used in the other areas of physics to describe the currents in a circuit due to a charge movement in a media. We have used the theorem to calculate the current density in the continuous electrodes of IPMC due to the ion migration in the backbone polymer. Along the current densities we are able to calculate voltage on the electrode at a given time moment. The model is demonstrated to give some physically reasonable results. However, the model is rather complex and as the solution times are quite large, some possible optimizations have been considered as well. The second goal of this study is to include the dynamic resistance and capacitance of the electrodes in our model. Lot of research has been done to develop a physically reasonable capacitor-resistor model of an IPMC and the results have been promising. Furthermore, some authors have managed to develop partial differential equations (PDE) to describe the model. We try to include some simplified versions of those equations into our physical model. As the FE model for IPMC is nonlinear and gets complicated very fast when additional equations are added, the final sections of this paper briefly considers some novel optimization ideas in regard to modeling IPMC with FE method.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.