The present work generates steady-state traveling waves in fin-like continuous structures with the help of Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) piezoelectric actuators. To produce traveling waves, two MFCs simultaneously excite a clamped-free beam at a common frequency with a preset phase difference. Previous research has shown that optimal traveling waves are developed in structures when the common frequency lies halfway between two adjacent resonant frequencies and the phase difference between the two inputs is 90°. These traveling waves closely replicate the undulatory patterns that propel aquatic animals but at a low amplitude linear regime. The present work studies the generation of underwater traveling waves and investigates the range of propulsive forces generated through such mechanism. The ability of continuous structures to produce thrust using undulations is the first step towards mimicking the bio-kinematics and biomechanics of aquatic animals.
Vijaya V. N. Sriram Malladi, Mohammad Albakri, Patrick Musgrave, and Pablo A. Tarazaga, "Investigation of propulsive characteristics due to traveling waves in continuous finite media," Proc. SPIE 10162, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2017, 101620O (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 27, 2017; Published: 17 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260156.
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