15 March 2018 Multiphysics modeling of mesh piezoelectric atomizers
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An ultrasonic clothes dryer was developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory based on a novel approach of using high-frequency mechanical vibration instead of heat to extract moisture as a cold mist. This technology is based on direct mechanical coupling between mesh piezoelectric (PZT) transducers and wet fabric. The vibration introduces sufficient momentum to the droplets trapped in the fabric pores to atomize them and leave the garment in a cold state. In the vibrating transducer, deformation followed by the effects of boundary layer acoustic streaming results in ejection of the atomized droplets. The research presented bridges the vibration of a PZT mesh transducer to the induced acoustic field and to capillary-wave theory. Mathematical modeling studies free and forced vibrations of a mesh-like PZT structure, using the structural parameters identified by actuation testing in several case studies. Computational fluid–structure interaction modeling is performed to couple the vibrations of a PZT transducer with an in-contact droplet. The results obtained are used to investigate (1) the transverse deformation of the vibrating mesh transducer in contact with a droplet, (2) the resultant boundary layer acoustic streaming in the fluid surrounding the vibrating surface, and (3) the droplet deformation and fluid ejection. The physics of atomization are linked to the level of the near-wall droplet vibrations induced by the surface deformation of the transducer. Then the surface deformation is linked to the properties of the PZT mesh transducer and input actuation frequency and power.
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Eric Dupuis, Eric Dupuis, Ayyoub M. Momen, Ayyoub M. Momen, Viral K. Patel, Viral K. Patel, Shima Shahab, Shima Shahab, "Multiphysics modeling of mesh piezoelectric atomizers", Proc. SPIE 10595, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems XII, 105951R (15 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2296663; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2296663

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