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Chin. Phys. B, 2020, Vol. 29(4): 048103    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ab7745

Moisture-sensitive torsional cotton artificial muscle and textile

Yuanyuan Li(李媛媛)1,2,3, Xueqi Leng(冷雪琪)3, Jinkun Sun(孙进坤)3, Xiang Zhou(周湘)2,3,4, Wei Wu(兀伟)5, Hong Chen(陈洪)1,6, Zunfeng Liu(刘遵峰)3
1 College of Material Science and Engineering, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha 410004, China;
2 School of Chemical Engineering, University of Science and Technology Liaoning, Anshan 114051, China;
3 State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, College of Pharmacy, Key Laboratory of Functional Polymer Materials, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China;
4 Department of Science, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 211198, China;
5 The Key Laboratory of Weak-Light Nonlinear Photonics, Ministry of Education, School of Physics and TEDA Applied Physics Institute, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China;
6 School of Materials Science and Energy Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan 528000, China
Abstract  Developing moisture-sensitive artificial muscles from industrialized natural fibers with large abundance is highly desired for smart textiles that can respond to humidity or temperature change. However, currently most of fiber artificial muscles are based on non-common industrial textile materials or of a small portion of global textile fiber market. In this paper, we developed moisture-sensitive torsional artificial muscles and textiles based on cotton yarns. It was prepared by twisting the cotton yarn followed by folding in the middle point to form a self-balanced structure. The cotton yarn muscle showed a torsional stroke of 42.55°/mm and a rotational speed of 720 rpm upon exposure to water moisture. Good reversibility and retention of stroke during cyclic exposure and removal of water moisture were obtained. A moisture-sensitive smart window that can close when it rains was demonstrated based on the torsional cotton yarn muscles. This twist-based technique combining natural textile fibers provides a new insight for construction of smart textile materials.
Keywords:  artificial muscle      smart textile      cotton yarn  
Received:  21 January 2020      Revised:  01 February 2020      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  81.05.Lg (Polymers and plastics; rubber; synthetic and natural fibers; organometallic and organic materials)  
  89.20.-a (Interdisciplinary applications of physics)  
  89.20.Bb (Industrial and technological research and development)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFB0307001), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. U1533122 and 51773094), the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin, China (Grant No. 18JCZDJC36800), the Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of Tianjin, China (Grant No. 18JCJQJC46600), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grant No. 63171219), Key Laboratory for Medical Data Analysis and Statistical Research of Tianjin, and State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Donghua University (Grant No. LK1704).
Corresponding Authors:  Xiang Zhou, Hong Chen, Zunfeng Liu     E-mail:;;

Cite this article: 

Yuanyuan Li(李媛媛), Xueqi Leng(冷雪琪), Jinkun Sun(孙进坤), Xiang Zhou(周湘), Wei Wu(兀伟), Hong Chen(陈洪), Zunfeng Liu(刘遵峰) Moisture-sensitive torsional cotton artificial muscle and textile 2020 Chin. Phys. B 29 048103

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