Noncontinuously Responding Polymeric Actuators


Reversible movements of current polymeric actuators stem from the continuous response to signals from a controlling unit, and subsequently cannot be interrupted without stopping or eliminating the input trigger. Here, we present actuators based on cross-linked blends of two crystallizable polymers capable of pausing their movements in a defined manner upon continuous cyclic heating and cooling. This noncontinuous actuation can be adjusted by varying the applied heating and cooling rates. The feasibility of these devices for technological applications was shown in a 140 cycle experiment of free-standing noncontinuous shape shifts, as well as by various demonstrators.
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