Surface characterization of polyvinylidene fluoride (pvdf) in its application as an actuator
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Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) is a common piezoelectric polymer. It is widely utilized because of its advantageous mechanical, chemical, and electromechanical properties. An interesting application for its properties lies in using it as an actuator, specifically for a microgripper device. The microgripper has many applications such as surgeries, microassembly, and micromanipulation. The friction force is an important criterion that greatly affects the gripping. This research studies the frictional behavior of the PVDF and effects of applied electrical potential. Approaches include tribological investigation of the polymer associated with surface properties. The surface characterization was conducted using a profilometer and an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). In addition, the application of a PVDF material as a microgripper is addressed along with the design of the gripper. It was found that the friction could be turned-on and off because of external applied electrical potential. Such behavior was associated with the microstructure, where dipoles were aligned in an electrical field. Such active-friction has not been reported in the past. This work opens new areas of research in fundamental friction that benefits the design and development of small devices such as a microgripper.
Mani, Saikumar (2007). Surface characterization of polyvinylidene fluoride (pvdf) in its application as an actuator. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from