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Research on the Use of Silicon-Ethanol Composite in Actuators


[ 1 ] Instytut Technologii Mechanicznej, Wydział Inżynierii Mechanicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ D ] phd student | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.8] Mechanical engineering

Year of publication


Published in


Journal year: 2022 | Journal volume: vol. 15 | Journal number: iss. 23

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • silicon-ethanol composite
  • phase-change material actuators
  • smart materials
  • actuators design

EN Silicon-ethanol is a relatively new smart composite in the category of phase-change materials (PCM). It consists of liquid ethanol entrapped in bubbles spread into a silicone rubber matrix, i.e., during cooling. The composite is able to expand significantly when heat is applied and shrink when it is removed. The properties of this material can be used in a new type of actuator. In this paper, the basic equations that describe the properties of actuators with a silicon-ethanol composite are given. Using them, two solutions of unidirectional actuators with a composite inserted into polycarbonate tubes and metal bellows are designed and investigated. In the study, actuators with different geometric dimensions and applied composite volumes are investigated. The elongations of the actuators and the blocking forces are measured. The theoretical relationships given at the beginning of the paper that describe the properties of the composite are validated using the performed experimental results of the built actuators. The tube actuators achieved elongation between 32% and 35% at a temperature of 75 degrees Celsius, that is, less than that predicted according to equations from earlier publications. Due to this, a modified equation that includes the influence of friction was proposed and compared with experimental results. The performance of the tube actuator deteriorates rapidly. In the case of bellow actuators, they stabilize after a few cycles of heating and cooling.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

8570-1 - 8570-20





Article Number: 8570

License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor

3.748 [List 2021]

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