Martinez, J. G.; Richter, K.; Persson, N. K.; Jager, E. W. H.
The feasibility of textile actuators and their advantages to develop soft actuators with synergetic actuation have been proven. They are composed of a passive fabric coated with an electroactive polymer that provides the mechanical motion. Until now, a two-step coating process was followed to make the textile actuators: a first coating that provided conductivity to the passive fabrics and, once conducting, a second coating by electropolymerization was used to get a highly electroactive (moving as much as possible) material. To simplify the fabrication process, we here used different commercially available conducting 47 yarns (polyamide+carbon, silicon+carbon, polyamide+silver coated, cellulose+carbon, polyester+2 × INOX 50 ?m, polyester+2 × Cu/Sn and polyester+gold coated) to develop such textile actuators. Thus, it was possible to coat them through direct electrochemical synthesis, avoiding the first step, which should provide with an easier and more cost-effective fabrication process. The conductivity and the electrochemical properties of the yarns were sufficient to allow the electropolymerization of the conducting polymer polypyrrole on the yarns. The electropolymerization was carried out and both the linear and angular the actuation of the yarns was investigated. These yarns may be incorporated into textile actuators for assistive prosthetic devices.