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Title: Plant-based torsional actuator with memory

Author: Plaza, Nayomi; Zelinka, Samuel L.; Stone, Don S.; Jakes, Joseph E.;

Date: 2013

Source: Smart Mater. Struct. 22, 072001, 2013; p. 7.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: A bundle of a few loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) cells are moisture-activated torsional actuators that twist multiple revolutions per cm length in direct proportion to moisture content. The bundles generate 10 N m kg􀀀1 specific torque during both twisting and untwisting, which is higher than an electric motor. Additionally, the bundles exhibit a moisture-activated, shape memory twist effect. Over 70% of the twist in a wetted bundle can be locked-in by drying under constraint and then released by rewetting the bundle. Our results indicate that hemicelluloses dominate the shape fixity mechanism and lignin is primarily responsible for remembering the bundle‚Äôs original form. The bundles demonstrate proof of a high specific torque actuator with large angles of rotation and shape memory twist capabilities that can be used in microactuators, sensors, and energy harvesters.

Keywords: shape memory, wood, twist

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Plaza, Nayomi; Zelinka, Samuel L.; Stone, Don S.; Jakes, Joseph E. 2013. Plant-based torsional actuator with memory. Smart Materials and Structures 22: 1-7.


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