Int. J. Simul. Multidisci. Des. Optim.
Volume 3, Number 1, January 2009
|Page(s)||307 - 315|
|Published online||26 March 2009|
Modelling and optimization of a pneumatic microfeeder system
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, University of Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, UK
2 School of Mechanical, Materials, Manufacturing Engineering and Management, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK
Corresponding author: X.Xue@gre.ac.uk
Accepted: 18 February 2009
This paper presents modelling and design optimization of a microfeeder which, as part of a microassembly system, is used for contactless object delivery. The microfeeder consists of an array of microactuators which are controlled by electrostatic actuation and used for maneuvering outcoming air jet for object hovering and delibery. The airflow behaviour in the microactuator is analysed by means of fluid mechanics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation from three aspects, theoretical analysis, initial design assessment, and design modifications. The focus is put on the basic types of the microfeeder structure and the effects of structural details to the systematic performance. The structural pattern of the microactuator for forming airflow nozzle is identified and two design plans are proposed as basic structure patterns of pneumatic microactuators. The optimized design numerically shows the ability of delivering objects. This paper analyses the flow distribution pattern in microactuators and points out a way for effective design of pneumatic microfeeder systems. The optimization strategy provided by the present paper has close relevance to the design and manufacture of pneumatic microfeeder systems.
Key words: Pneumatic microactuator / Microfeeder / Distributed manipulation / MEMS device / Actuator design
© ASMDO, 2009
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