A Compact Electrohydrodynamic Pump Utilizing Copper And TPU

Electrohydrodynamics (EHD) includes the dynamics of electrically charged fluids, which successfully means making fluids transfer utilizing nothing however electrical fields, making it a pretty concept for making a pump out of. That is the subject of a 2023 paper by [Michael Smith] and colleagues in Science, titled “Fiber pumps for wearable fluidic techniques”. The ‘fiber pumps’ as they name the EHD pumps on this examine are manufactured by twisting two helical, 80 µm thick copper electrodes round a central mandrel, together with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) earlier than making use of warmth. This creates a tube the place the 2 steady electrodes are involved with any fluids contained in the tube.

For the fluid a dielectric fluid is required to create the ions, which was 3M Novec 7100, a methoxy-fluorocarbon. Due to the used voltage of 8 kV, a excessive electrical breakdown of the fluid is required. After ionization the required present is comparatively low, reported as 0.9 W/m, with one meter of this pump producing a stress of as much as 100 kilopascals and a flowrate of 55 mL/minute. One main limitation remains to be that after 6 days of steady pumping, the copper electrodes are rendered inert attributable to deposits, requiring the complete system to be rinsed. Among the many functions the researchers see synthetic muscle tissues and versatile tubing in clothes to chill, warmth and supply sensory suggestions in VR functions.

Whereas the shortage of transferring elements as with conventional pumps is sweet, the restrictions are nonetheless fairly extreme. What’s nevertheless fascinating about this manufacturing technique is that it’s obtainable to simply about any hobbyist who occurs to have some copper wiring, TPU filament and one thing that would function a mandrel mendacity round.

Because of [Aaron Eiche] for the tip.

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