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31 March 2006 A novel lightweight piezo-composite actuator micropump
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In this paper, we focus on improving the performance of the piezoelectric diaphragms of micropumps. A novel circular lightweight piezoelectric composite actuator (LIPCA) with a high level of displacement and output force has been developed for piezoelectrically actuated micropumps. The actuator was designed and fabricated with oxide-based piezoelectric material in combination with carbon/epoxy fabric and glass/epoxy fabric. We used numerical and experimental methods to analyze the characteristics of the actuator. In addition, we used the developed circular LIPCA in conjunction with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) material and PDMS molding techniques to design, model and fabricate a valveless micropump. We then used a circular LIPCA bonded to a thin layer of PDMS as an actuator diaphragm. The actuator diaphragm can provide a comparatively high level of displacement, about twice that of conventional piezoelectric diaphragms that are commonly used in micropumps. The displacement of the diaphragm, the flow rate and the backpressure of the micropump were evaluated and discussed. With water, the pump reaches a maximum flow rate of 1.3 ml/min and a maximum backpressure of 4.1 kPa. The test results confirm that the circular LIPCA is a promising candidate for micropump application and can be used as a substitute for a conventional piezoelectric actuator diaphragm.
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Thanh-Tung Nguyen, Nam Seo Goo, Young Soo Yoon, and Kwang Joon Yoon "A novel lightweight piezo-composite actuator micropump", Proc. SPIE 6172, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology, 617212 (31 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.657523;

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