Numerical analysis of a planar wave propagation based micropropulsion system
Tabak, Ahmet Fatih and Yeşilyurt, Serhat (2007) Numerical analysis of a planar wave propagation based micropropulsion system. In: 2007 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Seattle, USA
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Micropropulsion mechanisms differ from macro scale counterparts owing to the domination of viscous forces in microflows. In essence, propulsion mechanisms such as cilia and flagella of single celled organisms can be deemed as nature’s solution to a challenging problem, and taken as a basis for the design of an artificial micropropulsion system. In this paper we present numerical analysis of the flow due to oscillatory planar waves propagating on microstrips. The time-dependent three-dimensional flow due to moving boundaries of the strip is governed by incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in a moving coordinate system, which is modeled by means of an arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian formulation. The fluid medium surrounding the actuator boundaries is bounded by a channel, and neutral boundary conditions are used in the upstream and downstream. Effects of actuation parameters such as amplitude, excitation frequency, wavelength of the planar waves are demonstrated with numerical simulations that are carried out by third party software, COMSOL. Functional-dependencies with respect to the actuation parameters are obtained for the average velocity of the strip and the efficiency of the mechanism.
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