Electroactive Polymers: Future Material: CPD 01- Materials Presentation
What is an Electro-active Polymer (EAP)?
EAP is a composite material that converts electrical power into mechanical force. Essentially it consists of a thin layer of very elastic acrylic tape sandwiched between two electrodes. Once the voltage is applied between the
electrodes, the polymer rubber changes its shape in two ways. The attraction of opposing charges causes the film to contract, while the repelling forces between equal charges result in a linear expansion of the film.
Who is experimenting with it?
Shapeshift, a dedicated project exploring the potential application of EAP’s, have developed EAP to offer a new relationship to built space through its unique combination of qualities by creating ‘living’ exhibitions. The dynamic structures achieve their form from the relationship of the pre-stretched EAP and the flexible frame. Also, Swiss researchers have developed a unique, silent, non-rigid airship that uses artificial muscles made from electroactive polymers (EAPs) to propel itself forward like a fish in water.
What are the advantages of Electro-active Polymers?
EAPs have boosted thin film technologies & will revolutionize the way we think about and interact with materials. EAPs will allow the creation of responsive environments or spaces that can dynamically adapt to external influences and physically respond to human input.
Applications in Archtiecture?
To apply electroactive polymers and the development of ‘living’ glass in a future architecture would create a self regulating environment that responds to people & the
changing internal & external climate; a building or facade that is a living and breathing functioning organism.
You can watch a video on the construction of electro-active polymers here: