Application of Ionic Polymer Metal Composites (IPMCs) for curvature sensing and measurement of dynamic structures has been presented. IPMC’s are electro active polymers that exhibit the characteristics of both actuators and sensors. The flexibility of IPMC makes it possible to be applied both in small and large deflection applications. Developing a curvature sensor based on IPMC can be of high importance in a wide variety of fields including shape monitoring of deployable structures in which the curvature of structure varies during deployment process until it maintains a target curvature. In this article, in order to characterize the IPMC sensor properties for curvature sensing, various experimental procedures have been conducted including sensing response of IPMC sensor to sinusoidal and step deflections at different frequencies. The effect of voltage recovery of IPMC on sensing signal was studied by applying the deformation in the form of ramp functions at very slow rates of curvature variation. Experiments show that due to the linear response of IPMC sensor to curvature change at different rates, it could be potentially used as a sensitive curvature sensor for several structural applications.

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