Twisted laminar composite structures for high power and large-stroke actuators based on coiled Multi Wall Carbon Nanotube (MWNT) composite yarns were crafted by integrating high-density Nanoenergetic Gas Generators (NGGs) into carbon nanotube sheets. The linear actuation force, resulting from the pneumatic force caused by expanding gases confined within the pores of laminar structures and twisted carbon nanotube yarns, can be further amplified by increasing NGG loading and yarns twist density, as well as selecting NGG compositions with high energy density and large-volume gas generation. Moreover, the actuation force and power can be tuned by the surrounding environment, such as to increase the actuation by combustion in ambient air. A single 300-Î¼m-diameter integrated MWNT/NGG coiled yarn produced 0.7 MPa stress and a contractile specific work power of up to 4.7 kW/kg, while combustion front propagated along the yarn at a velocity up to 10 m/s. Such powerful yarn actuators can also be operated in a vacuum, enabling their potential use for deploying heavy loads in outer space, such as to unfold solar panels and solar sails.
M. A. Hobosyan, et. al., (2017) Laminar composite structures for high power actuators.Applied Physics Letters110:20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1063/1.4983028
Applied Physics Letters