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Carbon Nanotubes for Artificial Muscles

Carbon Nanotubes for Artificial Muscles

Artificial muscles are electromechanical actuators. Carbon Nanotubes make lightweight artificial muscles finding applications in robotics, exoskeletons, artificial limbs, rehabilitation and bioengineering[1], [2].

Researchers have showcased carbon nanotube Bucky paper artificial muscles. These actuators are placed between electrodes in an electrolyte. The performance of such artificial muscles is dependent on many factors including the method of preparation of nanotubes, consistency in quality of nanotubes, purity, particles and thickness of the Bucky paper[1].

HiPCO® carbon nanotubes have showcased minimum actuation time compared to materials produced from other methods and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The iron catalyst content in the HiPCO® material was seen to be on of the parameters affecting the performance of the actuator over time due to oxidation of the iron in the electrolyte[1].

In addition, studies have also been made on yarn-like, ribbon-like and aerogel based artificial muscles using carbon nanotubes. The aerogel sheet based actuators have the capability of withstanding extreme  temperatures (80K to 1900K) and environments and able to showcase and elongation of 220%[3].

At NoPo we have worked rigorously on achieving consistent quality HiPCO® nanotubes and have achieved the same. We have also developed techniques and methods to finetune the catalyst content in the material down to 0.3- 1 wt%[4]. We are here to build the future with you using the tiniest yet robust carbon nanotubes.


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