Deformation simulation of IPMC smart material and its application in micro-gripper device

Y. Gong, J. Fan, Chak Yin Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Ionic Polymer-Metal Composite (IPMC), a new type of electro-active material, exhibits attractive electromechanical behavior as actuators. When alternating voltage is applied, the IPMC undergoes back-and-forth bending movement and vibration with large amplitude at the frequency of the applied voltage. The paper aims at constructing a two-fingered micro-gripper with IPMC in a Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS). The device is designed for gripping and manipulating some kinds of micro-parts for assembly or fabrication. With Tadokoro's model, a finite element model is constructed to simulate the electro-mechanical behavior of a micro-gripper. The computational results predict that the gripper has the maximum displacement of 1.01 mm and 0.616 mm in vertical and horizontal directions, respectively. Moreover, it is predicted that the gripper can exert a clamping force up to 600 mu N. The dynamic response of the gripper under square waveform voltage input is also discussed. The simulation demonstrates that the behavior of the IPMC device is frequency dependent. It is suggested that IPMC is a potential candidate for use in the design and manufacture of micro-grippers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Vibration Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • IPMC
  • Electro-active characteristics
  • Finite element method
  • MEMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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