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Dissertation Defense – Farhad Saffaraval – June 15th 1:30PM

Date and Time: Friday, June 15th at 1:30 PM

Location: 0159 Martin Hall


Dr. Kenneth Kiger, Chair

Dr. James Duncan

Dr. Johan Larsson

Dr. Amir Riaz

Dr. James Baeder, Dean’s Representative



Pumps are important to applications across a wide range of scales. The majority of traditional applications occur within a range where inertia is the dominating factor influencing the pump performance, and hence many practical designs are based on mechanisms that rely on this assumption. As one moves towards smaller devices, however, the increasing effect of viscosity renders these traditional mechanisms ineffective. The current work looks towards a bio-inspired system consisting of an array of oscillating plates to contend with this challenge. The plates are placed within a channel, and the pumping performance generated is examined for a small range of Reynolds numbers intermediate between inertial and viscous regimes (0.1 < Re < 10). The goal of this work is to observe the effect of how different plate kinematics can be utilized to break the symmetry the system to produce a net pumped flow. Both rigid and flexible plates are studied, using both sinusoidal and triangle wave input kinematics. The tests are first conducted with a single appendage, and then repeated with an array of 5 closely spaced plates to observe the effect of their interaction on the overall performance.

The results of the single plate tests indicate that increased asymmetry introduced in the triangle wave actuation results in increased pumping performance as well as energy consumption. Tests were conducted at two Reynolds number conditions, Re = 0.6 and 6.  The pumping performance was found to be an order of magnitude higher for the Re = 6 case. Following the rigid plate tests, two different cases using a flexible appendage was studied. The results show that a mass specific pumping efficiency was higher for the flexible case with a higher frequency at the same Reynolds numbers.

For the plate array, the results indicate five flexible plates with   will generate more than 4 times the flow rate in comparison to the single flexible plate. Using asymmetric triangle wave actuation in conjunction with symplectic metachronal motion  exhibits the highest pumping performance among different triangle input cases, which is more than 10 times that of using a single rigid plate. Total work is noticeably higher for the latter metachronal cases and will result in less overall pumping efficiency in comparison to the single appendage.