A micropump diaphragm, based on the high energy electron irradiated poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE)), an electroactive polymer (EAP), has been developed for air dynamic flow control. Its displacement stroke, profiles, and volume stroke rate (the volume change rate) have been characterized as a function of the electric field and the driving frequency. The displacement at the center of the diaphragm can reach 21 μm at 106 V/μm with the driving frequency of 10 Hz. The dispersion of the displacement is less than 30% for more than four frequency decades (0.1-1000 Hz). The characteristics of the electroactive polymer micropump diaphragm (EAPMPD) have also been theoretically evaluated. The volume rate of the EAPMPD can be 550 μL/min at 80 V/μm with the frequency of 1000 Hz. This study demonstrates that the volume rate of the diaphragm is high, and either the amplitude or the frequency of the applied electric field can tune it. In addition, when the performance of the diaphragm is modeled, the agreement between the theoretical results and the experimental data validates that the modeling provides an effective tool to guide EAPMPD design for an optimized performance. The results demonstrate that the diaphragm can be a candidate for aerospace applications to replace the traditional complex mechanical systems, increase the control capability, and reduce the weight for future air dynamic control systems. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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