Flow measurement and thrust estimation of a vibrating ionic polymer metal composite

Woojin Chae, Youngsu Cha, Sean D. Peterson, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) are an emerging class of soft active materials that are finding growing application as underwater propulsors for miniature biomimetic swimmers. Understanding the hydrodynamics generated by an IPMC vibrating under water is central to the design of such biomimetic swimmers. In this paper, we propose the use of time-resolved particle image velocimetry to detail the fluid kinematics and kinetics in the vicinity of an IPMC vibrating along its fundamental structural mode. The reconstructed pressure field is ultimately used to estimate the thrust produced by the IPMC. The vibration frequency is systematically varied to elucidate the role of the Reynolds number on the flow physics and the thrust production. Experimental results indicate the formation and shedding of vortical structures from the IPMC tip during its vibration. Vorticity shedding is sustained by the pressure gradients along each side of the IPMC, which are most severe in the vicinity of the tip. The mean thrust is found to robustly increase with the Reynolds number, closely following a power law that has been derived from direct three-dimensional numerical simulations. A reduced order distributed model is proposed to describe IPMC underwater vibration and estimate thrust production, offering insight into the physics of underwater propulsion and aiding in the design of IPMC-based propulsors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095018
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Fingerprint

flow measurement
Flow measurement
thrust
Polymers
Metals
composite materials
Composite materials
polymers
metals
biomimetics
Biomimetics
underwater propulsion
vibration
Reynolds number
Physics
physics
particle image velocimetry
estimates
Vorticity
Pressure gradient

Keywords

  • actuators
  • hydrodynamics
  • ionic polymer metal composites
  • particle image velocimetry
  • thrust
  • underwater robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Signal Processing

Cite this

Flow measurement and thrust estimation of a vibrating ionic polymer metal composite. / Chae, Woojin; Cha, Youngsu; Peterson, Sean D.; Porfiri, Maurizio.

In: Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 24, No. 9, 095018, 01.09.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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