The following details the preliminary characterization of a new class of stiffness-control active materials currently under development. In these materials described as electroplastic elastomers (EPEs), the Young’s modulus may be controlled via the creation and cleaving of crosslink sites using chemical and/or electrochemical stimulation. Unlike their thermally controlled shape memory polymer counterparts, EPEs do not require a continuous supply of energy to maintain either stiffness state. Ultimately this class of material could demonstrate fast, low power mechanical property control characteristics via the more easily controlled electric stimulus. This paper focuses on development of a rapid characterization method to enable expedited development of this new class of materials.

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