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Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Flapping Actuator Mimicking Dragonflies

Sujoy Mukherjee1, Ranjan Ganguli1,2

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
Corresponding author,

Computers, Materials & Continua 2010, 19(2), 105-134.


In this study, variational principle is used for dynamic modeling of an Ionic Polymer Metal Composite (IPMC) flapping wing. The IPMC is an Electro-active Polymer (EAP) which is emerging as a useful smart material for `artificial muscle' applications. Dynamic characteristics of IPMC flapping wings having the same size as the actual wings of three different dragonfly species Aeshna Multicolor, Anax Parthenope Julius and Sympetrum Frequens are analyzed using numerical simulations. An unsteady aerodynamic model is used to obtain the aerodynamic forces. A comparative study of the performances of three IPMC flapping wings is conducted. Among the three species, it is found that thrust force produced by the IPMC flapping wing of the same size as Anax Parthenope Julius wing is maximum. Lift force produced by the IPMC wing of the same size as Sympetrum Frequens wing is maximum and the wing is suitable for low speed flight. The numerical results in this paper show that dragonfly inspired IPMC flapping wings are a viable contender for insect scale flapping wing micro air vehicles.


Cite This Article

S. . Mukherjee and R. . Ganguli, "Ionic polymer metal composite flapping actuator mimicking dragonflies," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 19, no.2, pp. 105–134, 2010.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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