Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

Artificial muscles that can lift a weight 12,000. times their own weight

Artificial muscles have long surpassed their natural counterparts, and a new type recently developed raises the bar even higher. Researchers from the University of Illinois have published in the journal „Smart Materials and Structures” A description of how to produce high-strength artificial muscles.

The artificial muscles they have developed can withstand a mechanical load of 60 MPa. They can do specific work up to 758 joules per kilogram. That’s 18 times more than the capacity of any natural muscle.

Researchers involved in the study are already advertising the benefits that their work can. The artificial muscles are constructed of siloxane rubber and włócarbon kna. Their production is very cheap. They could revolutionize fields such as robotics, prosthetics, orthotics and improve the performance of assistive devices. There will certainly be more applications. On top of that, low production costs will help the artificial muscles succeed.

Muscles are designed to have a coiled geometry. Researchers wanted to make coiled artificial muscles stronger and more practical. And it has succeeded. Włókno of 0.4 mm diameter is capable of lifting nearly two kilograms to a height of 3.6 centimeters. It needs a minimal amount of electricity for this – just 0.172 V/cm.

Muscles can be contracted using electricity. This heats up the silicone rubber, whichóra then pushes back the trawlócarbon knaves from each other, making the diameter of the muscle expand and the length shorten by lifting a load attached to one end of the muscle. The materials used make the artificial muscles extremely lightweight and at the same time very strong.

– To use the włóof carbon fines, we needed to understand the mechanism of coiled muscle contraction. Once we learned the theory, we learned to transform the włócarbon knaves into very strong muscles. We then filled the threads with włóof carbon nanotubes with the right type of silicone rubber. Their performance has proved impressive, exactly what we were aiming for – explained study author Sameh Tawfick.

Teamół has also developed a mathematical model to describe how theób artificial muscle móHeads would function under rótangible parameters. This can be used to design artificial muscles with specific properties tailored to specific applications.

– The mathematical model we propose is a useful design tool, które allows to adjust the performance of coiled artificial muscles to rótional applications. In addition, the model provides an understanding of all the parametersów, whichóre play an important role in the mechanism of movement – said Caterina Lamuta, coóauthor of the study.