Ionic polymer-metal composite

Ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) as biomimetic propulsors 

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.

This research project focuses on analyzing the hydrodynamics of a vibrating IPMC actuator in an aqueous environment in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of thrust generation mechanisms for application to underwater propulsion. The analysis employs experimental methods, such as time-resolved particle image velocimetry to visualize and quantitatively measure the flow field, and numerical models to probe into the dominant underlying physical mechanisms.

The ultimate goal is to provide a set of design criteria that can be used in underwater robot development.

This project is in collaboration with Dr. Maurizio Porfiri at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.