Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Sevki Cesmeci

Committee Member 1

Hossein Taheri

Committee Member 2

Kamran Kardel


In this study, we propose flap and duckbill valve Magnetorheological elastomeric (MRE) micropumps, which rely on an electromagnetic actuation mechanism, and evaluated the performance characteristics of five different MR micropump designs. Two of these designs were our proposed designs, while others were from the existing micropump designs in the literature, including Ehsani model, Behrooz model, and Xufeng model micropump. The upper wall of the pump chambers is made of a smart material called magnetorheological elastomer (MRE). An MRE consists of a rubber-like base material and micron-sized iron particles doped in it. Under a magnetic field, the upper wall contracts, and the amount of contraction depends on the applied magnetic flux density, which can be controlled via electromagnets. We employed a Multiphysics-based simulation methodology to prove the proposed concept. More specifically, the complex and highly coupled magneto-solid-fluid interaction analyses were carried out via a two-dimensional time-dependent computational model to determine the deformation of the upper wall of the pump chamber and the velocity field inside the pump channel. The simulation approach was verified through a validity check study by replicating an existing study in the literature. Once verified, the full simulations were performed for the proposed concept. The performance characteristics of both pumps were presented and discussed. In addition, a parametric study was conducted to see the effects of important design parameters on the net pumped volume, results of which were also presented and discussed. The optimized flap and duckbill valve micropump can transfer 2.89 µl and 2.45 µl of fluid in one pumping cycle, which is almost 52.11% and 16.67% more net pumped volume than the basic micropump models. Also, the proposed flap valve and duckbill valve can reduce the backflow up to 10 and 7.5 times, respectively, during the expansion phase in comparison with the no valve model. The parametric studies demonstrated that the net pumped volume of the fluid is directly proportional to the channel height and valve spacing distance and is inversely proportional to the upper wall thickness, the elastic modulus of the pump structure, width, height, and Poisson ratio of the valves. After that, comparisons were performed based on physics-based simulations. For a fair and meaningful comparison, both the material and geometric properties were kept the same, and the simulations were run for one complete pumping cycle. The results showed that the proposed flap valve model and duckbill valve model could pump more fluids than each of the three existing micropump models. The results also demonstrate that the flap valve and duckbill valve models are nearly five times faster than the Ehsani and Xufeng models. Thus, the proposed two micropump models can propel more net volume of fluid than the existing micropump designs, experience low leakage during the contraction and expansion phase, and have faster response times. The proposed micropumps could potentially be used in a broad range of applications, such as an insulin dosing system for Type 1 Diabetic patients, artificial organs to transport blood, organ-on-chip applications, and so on

Research Data and Supplementary Material