28 July 2003 Conducting-polymer-driven actively shaped propellers and screws
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Abstract
Conducting polymer actuators are employed to create actively shaped hydrodynamic foils. The active foils are designed to allow control over camber, much like the ailerons of an airplane wing. Control of camber promises to enable variable thrust in propellers and screws, increased maneuverability, and improved stealth. The design and fabrication of the active foils are presented, the forces are measured and operation is demonstrated both in still air and water. The foils have a "wing" span of 240 mm, and an average chord length (width) of 70 mm. The trailing 30 mm of the foil is composed of a thin polypyrrole actuator that curls chordwise to achieve variable camber. The actuator consists of two 30 μm thick sheets of hexafluorophosphate doped polypyrrole separated from each other by a gel electrolyte. A polymer layer encapsulates the entire structure. Potentials are applied between the polymer layers to induce reversible bending by approximately 35 degrees, and generating forces of 0.15 N. These forces and displacements are expected to enable operation in water at flow rates of > 1 m/s and ~ 30 m/s in air.
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John D. Madden, John D. Madden, Bryan Schmid, Bryan Schmid, Serge R. Lafontaine, Serge R. Lafontaine, Peter Geoffrey A. Madden, Peter Geoffrey A. Madden, Franz S Hover, Franz S Hover, Karl McLetchie, Karl McLetchie, Ian Warwick Hunter, Ian Warwick Hunter, } "Conducting-polymer-driven actively shaped propellers and screws", Proc. SPIE 5051, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (28 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484417; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.484417
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