Efficient Electromagnetic Micropump for Small Devices

Technology #12368

Pumps Gas and Liquids Using Electromagnetic Principles to Decrease the Potential of Flow Blockage

This liquid/gas pump is applicable in small systems where capillary forces are not sufficient to create flow and Knudsen pumps are not workable. An electrohydrodynamic force is used to pump fluids without any mechanical component from one point to another. Heart failure is an epidemic, affecting five million Americans, and current systems used to aid the condition are limited by mechanical components, creating shear blockage of blood corpuscles which affects proper blood flow. To overcome limitations of current pumps, researchers at the University of Florida have developed a pump that is highly effective in eliminating current blockage problems, allowing for a smooth flow of a liquid or gas. This pump applies to other small systems and devices in aerospace for boundary layer flow actuation and rapid switch-on/off capabilities.

Applications

Efficient micropump for liquids or gases in either the biomedical or chemical fields

Advantages

  • Utilized in both electrically conductive and non-conductive fluids, providing broad market application
  • Properly arranged electrodes can create various pumping effects, diversifying the potential uses of the pumps
  • Creates a smooth flow of liquid or gas without mechanical devices, decreasing occurrence of flow blockage maximizing pump efficiency
  • No mechanical fatigue or wear and tear

Technology

A pipeline of insulative material is asymmetrically coated with electrode pairs. The asymmetric coating affects the flow passage to create the various pumping effects. The electrode pairs are arranged at intervals along the pipeline, inducing an electric force used to push the gas/liquid in a certain direction. Also, the electrodes are formed along the inner perimeter of the pipeline and are either powered by a steady, pulsed direct or alternating currents. As an alternative to placing the electrodes along the inner perimeter, the electrodes are separated by the insulative material of the pipeline and are powered by either a direct or an alternating current operating at radio frequency.