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Content archived on 2024-06-16


Final Report Summary - ISAMCO (Ionic polymer-metal composite as sensor and actuator: application in motion control)

Electroactive polymeric materials (EAP) are a class of material that have been the subject of intensive research since 1992. Ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMC) are a class of EAPs that can be used as either a sensor or an actuator in small robot / mechatronic applications.

The project aimed at fabricating an innovative material, that is IPMC, in order to develop prototypes of an artificial muscle and of a motion sensor. To reach the aforesaid objectives, a series of theoretical researches and experimental analysis were conducted.

To achieve this, dedicated Matlab software has been developed to assist in the design of individual IPMC actuator and IPMC sensor devices. This design software has been used in conjunction with beam theory to realise a design methodology for producing iSAD components. The ISAMCO models and design software was used to develop a methodology to allow integrated sensor-actuator devices to be produced to the desired specifications.

The achievements of the I-SAMCO project resulting out of its activities can be summarised as follows:
1) International collaboration has been achieved and fertilised through collaboration agreements with the United States, Canada, Japan and China.
2) The dissemination of European knowledge has been done by dissemination events and the appointment of European representatives in the most important global activities.
3) The access to knowledge from overseas has been achieved through the collaboration agreements and the participation to overseas projects.
4) Standardisation has been supported by drafting respective recommendations and participation in global standardisation activities particular on data formats and meta data protocols.
5) Training and education has been given through the numerous events described in this report.

The project activities have been characterised by the following facts:
- All activities have been completed as per contract.
- 25 % more man hours have been spent on the activities.
- The number of events have been doubled.
- The schedule has been implemented as planned.
- More new partners and items for collaboration have been found than anticipated.

Therefore the project is considered to be successful and the activities will live on beyond the end of the project through emerging activities.

That said a number of recommendations were made at the completion of the project. It has been found that I-SAMCO performed most necessary activities. Nevertheless, the level on which such activities are performed in America or Asia has been found to be one order of magnitude higher than in Europe. In order to avoid a fall back of Europe in this field, considerable higher efforts on European level are recommended. This can actively be studied in the field of earthquake engineering, where despite a higher demand in Europe, the funding lacks behind dramatically.