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.

Robert C. Woodall, Jr.

Felipe Garcia

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
January 5, 2003
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