Hybrid carbon nanotube yarn muscle

May 30, 2013 by Jisoo Lee
Hybrid carbon nanotube yarn muscle

Professor Seon Jeong Kim of Hanyang University has created a high capacity yarn muscle that does not require electrolytes or special packaging. It will have a big impact in the motor, biological and robot industry.

Kim's article, "Electrically, Chemically, and Photonically Powered Torsional and Tensile Actuation of Hybrid Yarn Muscles," was published in the journal of Science. He is currently the director of the National Creative Research Initiative Center for Bio- at Hanyang University (HYU). In 2006, the research center was designated as the "Leader's Research Support Business" by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology.

Traditional methods of electrochemically powered yarn muscles were destined to include slow responses, low strain and force generation, a short cycle life, and low energy efficiency. They were also in need of electrolytes, counter electrodes, and device packaging. Such requirements increase the weight of the actuator leading to a decrease in performance.

The 'Hybrid Carbon Nanotube Yarn Muscles' created by Kim however, has overcome such limitations by confining paraffin waxes, a thermally or electrothermally powered actuators, within the yarn. By doing so, the response rate is enhanced and a helical geometry enables both torsional rotation and tensile contraction.

– also called actuation – can be ultrafast, occurring in 25-thousandths of a second. Including times for both actuation and reversal of actuation, the researchers demonstrated a contractile of 4.2 kW/kg, which is four times the power-to-weight ratio of common internal combustion engines.

Application of the 'Hybrid Carbon Nanotube Yarn Muscles' are diverse because the yarn muscles can be twisted together and are able to be woven, sewn, braided and knotted, they might eventually be deployed in a variety of self-powered and textiles. For example, changes in environmental temperature or the presence of chemical agents can change guest volume; such actuation could change textile porosity to provide thermal comfort or chemical protection. Such yarn muscles also might be used to regulate a flow valve in response to detected chemicals, or adjust window blind opening in response to ambient temperature.

Kim stated, "The 'Hybrid Carbon Nanotube Yarn Muscles' is a new form of yarn muscle due to its torsional rotation and tensile contraction which functions in an electrolyte-free environment." In addition, "Its simple operating method and structure will have a big impact on the motor, biological, and robot industry."

Explore further: Carbon Nanotube Artificial Muscles for Extreme Temperatures

Related Stories

Carbon Nanotube Artificial Muscles for Extreme Temperatures

March 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at the UT Dallas Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute have demonstrated a fundamentally new type of artificial muscle, which can operate at extreme temperatures where no other artificial muscle ...

Carbon nanotube muscles generate giant twist for novel motors

October 13, 2011

New artificial muscles that twist like the trunk of an elephant, but provide a thousand times higher rotation per length, were announced on Oct. 13 for a publication in Science magazine by a team of researchers from The University ...

How soon could car seats enter the 3-D comfort zone?

May 23, 2013

New 3D textiles made of recyclable polyester fibres could contribute help cars be easier to recycle. But recycling technology has yet to progress in separating seat material from other car components.

Recommended for you

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has passed a major milestone in molecular electronics with the creation of the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Working at Berkeley Lab's Molecular ...

Could stronger, tougher paper replace metal?

July 24, 2015

Researchers at the University of Maryland recently discovered that paper made of cellulose fibers is tougher and stronger the smaller the fibers get. For a long time, engineers have sought a material that is both strong (resistant ...

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity

July 28, 2015

When it comes to installing solar cells, labor cost and the cost of the land to house them constitute the bulk of the expense. The solar cells—made often of silicon or cadmium telluride—rarely cost more than 20 percent ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

MarkmBha
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2013
Good article!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.