Fluid Interaction of Segmented Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites Under Water

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The numerous possible applications of ionic polymer–metal composites (IPMCs) as an underwater propulsor have led to the investigation of IPMC behaviour in an aqueous environment. This study compares the performance of an IPMC subjected to fluid drag forces to its performance without such forces. Both the form (i.e. pressure) drag and the viscous (i.e. skin friction) drag forces experienced by the IPMC due to the surrounding liquid are modelled. These forces are incorporated into a two-dimensional (2D) analytical model of a segmented IPMC. The model is based on small deflection and can be conveniently used. The maximum IPMC deflection for aqueous and non-aqueous environments is compared, both analytically and experimentally. Using video-capturing techniques, the deflection of the IPMC, both in air and in water, is investigated. The experimental results are used in order to better understand the performance of an IPMC in water. A large-deflection model for the segmented IPMC is also proposed.


Drag (Aerodynamics); Metal-filled plastics; Underwater propulsion


Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics | Materials Science and Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Mechanics of Materials


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