Hydrodynamics of underwater propulsors based on ionic polymer-metal composites

A numerical study

Karl Abdelnour, Elisa Mancia, Sean D. Peterson, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuators have shown promise as miniature underwater propulsors due to their high flexibility, reduced weight, and low activation voltage and power consumption. In this paper, we analyze the hydrodynamics of a vibrating IPMC actuator in an aqueous environment in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of thrust generation mechanisms of IPMC actuators. More specifically, we numerically analyze the flow of a viscous fluid generated by a cantilever IPMC actuator vibrating along its fundamental mode shape. We compute the thrust produced by the actuator as a function of its frequency of oscillation and maximum tip displacement. We show that thrust generation of vibrating IPMC actuators is highly correlated with vortex shedding. We find that vorticity production is prominent at the IPMC tip and increases as the oscillation frequency increases. We analyze the lateral force and the moment exerted by the IPMC on the surrounding fluid. Further, we study the power transferred by the vibrating IPMC to the encompassing fluid. We validate our numerical findings through available particle image velocimetry experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number085006
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Polymers
Hydrodynamics
Metals
hydrodynamics
composite materials
Actuators
actuators
Composite materials
polymers
metals
thrust
Fluids
oscillations
vortex shedding
fluids
Vortex shedding
modal response
viscous fluids
particle image velocimetry
Vorticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Hydrodynamics of underwater propulsors based on ionic polymer-metal composites : A numerical study. / Abdelnour, Karl; Mancia, Elisa; Peterson, Sean D.; Porfiri, Maurizio.

In: Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 18, No. 8, 085006, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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