Smart skins are integrating an increasing number of functionalities in order to improve the interaction between the systems they equip and their ambient environment. Here we have developed an electromechanical soft actuator with controlled surface texture due to applied thermal gradient via electrical voltage. The device was fabricated and integrated with optimized process parameters for a prepared heater element [doped PEDOT: PSS (poly-(3, 4 ethylenedioxythiophene): poly (styrene sulfonic acid))], a soft actuator (Ecoflex 00-50/ethanol) and overall packaging case [PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane)]. To study a potential application of the proposed smart skin, we analyze the fluid drag reduction in a texture controlled water flow unit. As a result, we obtained a reduction of approximately 14% in the skin drag friction coefficient during the actuation. We conclude that the proposed soft actuator device is a preferred option for a texture-controlled skin that reduces the skin drag friction coefficient.
|Date made available
|KAUST Research Repository