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Conceptual Design and Characterization of Contractile Water Jet Thruster Using IPMC Actuator

Authors: Muhammad Farid Shaari, Zahurin Samad


This paper presents the design, development and characterization of contractile water jet thruster (CWJT) for mini underwater robot. Instead of electric motor, this CWJT utilizes the Ionic Polymer Metal Composite (IPMC) as the actuator to generate the water jet. The main focus of this paper is to analyze the conceptual design of the proposed CWJT which would determine the thrust force value, jet flow behavior and actuator’s stress. Those thrust force and jet flow studies were carried out using Matlab/Simscape simulation software. The actuator stress had been analyzed using COSMOS simulation software. The results showed that there was no significant change for jet velocity at variable cross sectional nozzle area. However, a significant change was detected for jet velocity at different nozzle cross sectional area ratio which was up to 37%. The generated thrust force has proportional relation to the nozzle cross sectional area.

Keywords: Contractile water jet thruster, IPMC actuator, Thrust force.

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