Thursday, August 02, 2012

US Patent 8231770 - Nanoporous carbon actuator

Carbon nanotubes have been proposed to produce actuators with a greater energy density per mass but such actuators are difficult to produce since the nanotubes are expensive and are not available in 3D shapes which limits applicability. This patent from Lawrence Livermore National Security instead teaches using a nanoporous carbon material which may be used for molding 3D actuator structures at lower cost than carbon nanotube materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electrochemically driveable actuator, comprising:

a nanoporous carbon aerogel composition capable of exhibiting charge-induced reversible strain when wetted by an electrolyte and a voltage is applied thereto.