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Investigation on High Energy Density Materials Utilizing Biological Transport Mechanisms

[+] Author Affiliations
Vishnu Baba Sundaresan, Honghui Tan, Donald J. Leo

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

John Cuppoletti

University of Cincinnati

Paper No. IMECE2004-60714, pp. 55-62; 8 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Aerospace
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4700-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Biological systems such as plants produce large deformations due to the conversion of chemical energy to mechanical energy. These chemomechanical energy conversions are controlled by the transport of charge and fluid across permeable membranes within the cellular structure of the biological system. In this paper we analyze the potential for using biological transport mechanisms to produce materials with controllable actuation properties. An energetics analysis is performed to quantify the relationship between the introduction of chemical energy in the form of ATP to the resulting osmotic pressure variation within an enclosed membrane. Our analysis demonstrates that pressure variations of between 5 and 15 MPa are achievable. The pressure variations are then coupled to a finite element analysis to determine the ability of organized arrays to produce extensional and bending actuation in thin membranes. Our analysis demonstrates that internal pressure variations on the order of 10 MPa can produce actuation materials with extensional energy density on the order of 100 kJ/m3 and bending energy density on the order of 10 kJ/m3 .

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Density , Mechanisms



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