Researchers at Louisiana State University have developed artificial muscles with more stretch by changing the configuration of their polymer fibers. Guoqiang Li and his research team discovered that they can improve tensile properties by twisting the memory shape polymers in the fiber, coiling them, and applying heat. Not only does the new process add tensile strength to the polymer fiber, it brought down the temperature needed to trigger shape change, the team recording a high of 67 degrees C, approximately 100 degrees lower than previous tests. Lowering the temperature will make the polymer more applicable to medical device use. The teams findings were reported in Applied Physics Letters in October.
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