A Soft Combustion-Driven Pump for Soft Robots

Constantinos Stergiopulos, Daniel Vogt, Michael T. Tolley, Michael Wehner, Jabulani Barber, George M. Whitesides, Robert J. Wood
2014 Volume 2: Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Bioinspired Smart Materials and Systems; Energy Harvesting   unpublished
This paper describes the design and manufacture of a monolithic high-pressure diaphragm pump made entirely of soft elastomer material and driven by a combustion chamber incorporated within the soft pump structure. The pump can deliver pressures up to 60 kPa and can reach output flows up to 40 ml/min. Methane (CH 4 ) combustion is used as the actuation source. The pump uses two soft flap-structured check valves for directing the flow. Pumping pressure and frequency dependence were measured and
more » ... were measured and analyzed. Results show that controlled and repeatable combustion of methane is possible without damaging the soft structure. Experimentally, 6-10% methane is identified as the ideal air-fuel ratio for combustion. With continuous delivery of reactants, a 1 Hz pumping frequency was achieved. The volume of the combustion chamber and the material stiffness are identified to be major determinants of the stroke volume.
doi:10.1115/smasis2014-7536 fatcat:2v6jkdk2ijeprcumeijh5g6m2e