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Mobile Liquid Gating Membrane System for Smart Piston and Valve Applications

Liu, Wei, Wang, Miao, Sheng, Zhizhi, Zhang, Yunmao, Wang, Shuli, Qiao, Long, Hou, Yaqi, Zhang, Mengchuang, Chen, Xinyu, Hou, Xu
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2019 v.58 no.27 pp. 11976-11984
actuators, liquids, permeability, process design, robots
Rapid progress toward smart membranes has been made in the past few decades, of which the liquid gating membranes have attracted increasing attention because of their smart permeability. However, the current liquid gating membranes are mainly focused on the control of transmembrane performance, whereas the motion behaviors of such membranes that respond to ambient gas pressure are also very important for many applications in industry. Here, we developed a mobile liquid gating membrane system driven by dynamic changes in ambient gas pressure that can move as a piston depending on gas pressure. We further investigated the influences of membrane pore sizes and gating liquid types on the motion behavior of mobile liquid gating membranes. By incorporating with pneumatic elastomers, the liquid gating membrane system shows bistable gas transport properties that can serve as a smart valve. We believe the mobile liquid gating membrane system can provide a new platform for integrating simple control and logic function of soft actuators and robots.