Available Technology

Cellulose-based water sensor/actuator

An integrated water sensor/actuator is based on a fibrous cellulosic material having anisotropic moisture-absorbing properties such that it's dried-in strain is greatest along one axis thereof. A plug of the dry and compressed fibrous cellulosic material has a powder material coated thereon and mixed therewith. The plug is compressed along it's axis of greatest dried-in strain and is fitted in a water-permeable housing adjacent a piston. The powder material is inert with respect to the cellulosic material and initiates a chemical reaction when exposed to water such that a product of the chemical reaction is water. Immersion of the housing in water causes expansion of the plug and corresponding movement of the piston.
Inventors: 

Robert C. Woodall, Jr.

Felipe Garcia

Patent Number: 
US2002178811
Patent Issue Date: 
January 5, 2003
Lab Representatives
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