Electrically Controlled, Fluid-based Transducer that Generates Flow in Multiple Directions

Technology #15237

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Researchers
Subrata Roy
Nicholas S. Campbell
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Actuator Provides Rapid Response, Precise Control, and Varying Modes of Fluid Flow

This electro-fluid-based actuator provides highly responsive and precisely directed flow in multiple opposing or synchronous directions. An actuator is a type of transducer that responds to an electrical signal by initiating motion or, essentially, pushing on something. Transducer technology has countless applications in a multitude of different industrial fields ranging from aerospace to biomedicine. Compared to mechanical processes, this electrically governed system allows near instantaneous injection of momentum into a fluid by way of plasma actuation. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a transducer that induces responsive and accurate fluid flow in multiple directions, along with the option of continuous or pulsed modes ranging over any frequency, broadening the potential practical applications of this technology. This transducer has no moving parts. It has less drag as compared to a surface mounted plasma actuator for the same induced flow and can be useful for both atmospheric and high altitude applications.

Application

Modifiable, multi-directional, fluid-based transducer provides numerous industrial applications

Advantages

  • Electrically governed system, allowing rapid response and high precision control of fluid actuation
  • Simple and scalable, functional design made with inexpensive materials, lowering production costs
  • Has no moving parts, minimizing complexity, cost, and failure points
  • Generates continuous or pulsed flows in multiple opposing and/or synchronous directions, allow creation of a flow manifold different from current technologies

Technology

The actuation of this transducer is electrically controlled to provide fluid movement. The fluid movement’s direction is highly controllable and can be manipulated to provide flow in multiple directions, distinguishing itself from other traditional motor and transducer technology. This transducer can be used primarily to regulate fluid and gas, offering a high degree of control on its own or in a larger manifold system. By reconfiguring this transducer’s electrical circuit, fluid and gas flow regulation can be manipulated in various directions, intensities, and sizes. The transducer is also relatively scalable allowing it to be used in a microscopic context by controlling heart valve regulation or a macroscopic context with gas line control or small satellite propulsion.