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27 March 2018 IPMC flow sensor exploiting self-generated vortices
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Ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) have inherent sensing properties, one application of which is flow sensing. However, the transduction physics and mechanics of IPMC pose challenges in deciphering the sensor output for DC flows. In this work we propose a novel IPMC flow sensor that exploits self-generated von Kármán vortices to produce vibration of the sensor, the frequency and amplitude of which are correlated with the stream flow. The sensor consists of a 3D-printed soft cylindrical sheath housing an IPMC beam, and one end of the sheath takes the shape of a sphere. In the sensing configuration, the sheath is placed parallel to the stream flow direction, with the sphere end fixed. Experiments are conducted in a flow channel to measure the IPMC sensor output and free-end displacement of the sheath under different flow speeds. The results indicate that the proposed sensor structure can produce significant oscillatory signals for effectively decoding the flow speed.
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Montassar Aidi Sharif and Xiaobo Tan "IPMC flow sensor exploiting self-generated vortices", Proc. SPIE 10594, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX, 105941B (27 March 2018);

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