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The evolution of new materials in engineering has introduced a lot of opportunities which have created all kinds of employments and so much wealth for mankind, as evidenced in our modern cars, aircrafts, phones, furniture, and electronics, industrial and home appliances, among others.
There is this soft and deformable polymeric engineering material called silicon elastomer, obtained from ketones which are currently used in molding flexible parts in aircrafts, seals in building construction & maintenance and adhesives in cars. It is also widely used in producing medical grade materials for treating patients in hospitals. Its multi-purpose use is responsible for thrusting up so many nouveau riche these days. Mechanically, it has low Young’s Modulus and high yield strain compared to any other known engineering material, which is why it is good for designing mechanical systems.
In fact, this paper has investigated its application in designing appendages for bio-robots such as snake, salamander, elephant tusks or octopus robots. The author, Dr. Michael Obaji, designed a matrix of silicon elastomer which was actuated with shape memory alloy to make the appendage. By applying a fourth-order Runge-Kutta scheme and Mathematica, the author went further to analyze the deformations, bending moment and compressive force distribution mechanism on the modeled structure, using an approximate analytical model to determine their comparative shear-lag parameter, with a view to finding out their fitness in a mechanical environment where there is need for high yield, high force and high strain.
The research which was conducted at the Intelligent Mechanics Laboratory in the Department of Precision Instrumentation & Machinery of the University of Science & Technology of China, was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China. As usual, Science Publishing Group brings to you this beautiful research piece via this link:
Michael. O.Obaji: Intelligent Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Precision Instrumentation & Machinery, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei.