Fluidics, or fluidic logic, is the use of a fluid to perform analog or digital operations similar to those performed with electronics.

A module with two input streams at the top, an AND output bucket in the middle, and an XOR output stream at the bottom.

The physical basis of fluidics is pneumatics and hydraulics, based on the theoretical foundation of fluid dynamics. The term fluidics is normally used when devices have no moving parts, so ordinary hydraulic components such as hydraulic cylinders and spool valves are not considered or referred to as fluidic devices.

A jet of fluid can be deflected by a weaker jet striking it at the side. This provides nonlinear amplification, similar to the transistor used in electronic digital logic. It is used mostly in environments where electronic digital logic would be unreliable, as in systems exposed to high levels of electromagnetic interference or ionizing radiation.

Nanotechnology considers fluidics as one of its instruments. In this domain, effects such as fluid–solid and fluid–fluid interface forces are often highly significant. Fluidics have also been used for military applications.

History Edit

In 1920, Nikola Tesla patented a valvular conduit or Tesla valve that works as a fluidic diode. It's a leaky diode, i.e. the reverse flow is non-zero for any applied pressure difference. Tesla valve also has non-linear response, as it diodicity has frequency dependence. It could be used in fluid circuits, such as a full-wave rectifier, to convert AC to DC. [1] In 1957, Billy M. Horton of the Harry Diamond Laboratories (which later became a part of the Army Research Laboratory) first came up with the idea for the fluidic amplifier when he realized that he could redirect the direction of flue gases using a small bellows.[2] He proposed a theory on stream interaction, stating that one can achieve amplification by deflecting a stream of fluid with a different stream of fluid. In 1959, Horton and his associates, Dr. R. E. Bowles and Ray Warren, constructed a family of working vortex amplifiers out of soap, linoleum, and wood.[3] Their published result caught the attention of several major industries and created a surge of interest in applying fluidics (then called fluid amplification) to sophisticated control systems, which lasted throughout the 1960s.[4][5] Horton is credited for developing the first fluid amplifier control device and launching the field of fluidics.[6] In 1961, Horton, Warren, and Bowles were among the 27 recipients to receive the first Army Research and Development Achievement Award for developing the fluid amplifier control device.[7]

Logic elements Edit

Logic gates can be built that use water instead of electricity to power the gating function. These are reliant on being positioned in one orientation to perform correctly. An OR gate is simply two pipes being merged, and a NOT gate (inverter) consists of "A" deflecting a supply stream to produce Ā. The AND and XOR gates are sketched in the diagram. An inverter could also be implemented with the XOR gate, as A XOR 1 = Ā.[8]

Another kind of fluidic logic is bubble logic. Bubble logic gates conserve the number of bits entering and exiting the device, because bubbles are neither produced nor destroyed in the logic operation, analogous to billiard-ball computer gates.[9]

Components Edit

A video simulating the internal flow of a fluidic feedback oscillator.

Amplifiers Edit

Fluidic amplifier, showing flow in both states, from U.S. Patent 4,000,757.

In a fluidic amplifier, a fluid supply, which may be air, water, or hydraulic fluid, enters at the bottom. Pressure applied to the control ports C1 or C2 deflects the stream, so that it exits via either port O1 or O2. The stream entering the control ports may be much weaker than the stream being deflected, so the device has gain.

This basic device can be used to construct other fluidic logic elements, as well fluidic oscillators that can be used in analogous way as flip flops.[10] Simple systems of digital logic can thus be built.

Fluidic amplifiers typically have bandwidths in the low kilohertz range, so systems built from them are quite slow compared to electronic devices.

Triodes Edit

The fluidic triode, an amplification device that uses a fluid to convey the signal, have been invented, as have fluid diodes, a fluid oscillator and a variety of hydraulic "circuits," including one that has no electronic counterpart.[11]

Uses Edit

The MONIAC Computer built in 1949 was a fluid-based analogue computer used for teaching economic principles as it could recreate complex simulations that digital computers could not at the time. Twelve to fourteen were built and acquired by businesses and teaching establishments.

The FLODAC Computer was built in 1964 as a proof of concept fluid-based digital computer.[12]

Fluidic components appear in some hydraulic and pneumatic systems, including some automotive automatic transmissions. As digital logic has become more accepted in industrial control, the role of fluidics in industrial control has declined.

In the consumer market, fluidically controlled products are increasing in both popularity and presence, installed in items ranging from toy spray guns through shower heads and hot tub jets; all provide oscillating or pulsating streams of air or water. Logic-enabled textiles for applications in wearable technology has also been researched.[13]

Fluid logic can be used to create a valve with no moving parts such as in some anaesthetic machines.[14]

Fluidic oscillators were used in the design of pressure-triggered, 3D printable, emergency ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic.[15] [16] [17]

Fluidic amplifiers are used to generate ultrasound for non-destructive testing by quickly switching pressurized air from one outlet to another. [18]

Fluidic injection is being researched for use in aircraft to control direction, in two ways: circulation control and thrust vectoring. In both, larger more complex mechanical parts are replaced by fluidic systems, in which larger forces in fluids are diverted by smaller jets or flows of fluid intermittently, to change the direction of vehicles. In circulation control, near the trailing edges of wings, aircraft flight control systems such as ailerons, elevators, elevons, flaps and flaperons are replaced by slots which emit fluid flows.[19][20][21] In thrust vectoring, in jet engine nozzles, swiveling parts are replaced by slots which inject fluid flows into jets.[22] Such systems divert thrust via fluid effects. Tests show that air forced into a jet engine exhaust stream can deflect thrust up to 15 degrees.[22] In such uses, fluidics is desirable for lower: mass, cost (up to 50% less), drag (up to 15% less during use), inertia (for faster, stronger control response), complexity (mechanically simpler, fewer or no moving parts or surfaces, less maintenance), and radar cross section for stealth.[23][24] This will likely be used in many unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 6th generation fighter aircraft, and ships.

BAE Systems has tested two fluidically controlled unmanned aircraft, one starting in 2010 named Demon,[25][26] and another starting in 2017 named MAGMA, with the University of Manchester.[27]

Octobot, a 2016 proof of concept soft-bodied autonomous robot containing a microfluidic logic circuit, has been developed by researchers at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.[28]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Nguyen, Quynh; Abouezzi, Joanna; Ristroph, Leif (2021-05-17). "Early turbulence and pulsatile flows enhance diodicity of Tesla's macrofluidic valve". Nature Communications. 12 (12): 2884. arXiv:2103.17222. Bibcode:2021NatCo..12.2884N. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-23009-y. PMC 8128925. PMID 34001882.
  2. ^ McKetta, John (1985-11-21). Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design: Volume 23 – Fluid Flow. CRC Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780824724733.
  3. ^ Bradbury, Wilbur (1967-05-19). Luce, Henry (ed.). "Overdue Idea Put on a Scratch Pad". Life. Time. pp. 115–116.
  4. ^ Joyce, James W. (August 1983). "Fluidics: Basic Components and Applications". Defense Technical Information Center. Maryland. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  5. ^ Gottron, R.; Kumar, V.; Corrado, A. (August 1975). "Fluidic Applications in North America". IFAC Proceedings Volumes. 8 (1): 531–538. doi:10.1016/S1474-6670(17)67511-6.
  6. ^ "People". IEEE Spectrum. 12 (4): 108–109. April 1975. doi:10.1109/MSPEC.1975.6368799.
  7. ^ "CRD Announces Winners of 22 R&D Achievement Awards" (PDF). Army R&D Magazine. Vol. 2, no. 8. August 1961. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  8. ^ Blikstein, Paulo. "Programmable Water: Computation is not just about electronics". Blikstein Consultoria. Stanford University. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  9. ^ Prakash, Manu (2007-02-08). "Manu Prakash: Research: Bubble Logic". Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Archived from the original on 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  10. ^ Tesař, Václav (2019-08-09). "Time-Delay Circuits for Fluidic Oscillators and Pulse Shapers". Energies. 12 (16): 3071. doi:10.3390/en12163071. ISSN 1996-1073.
  11. ^ Stong, C. L. (August 1962). "The Amateur Scientist. How streams of water can be used to create analogues of electronic tubes and circuits". Scientific American. pp. 128–138. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  12. ^ "Proceedings – Fall Joint Computer Conference" (PDF). 1964. pp. 631–641.
  13. ^ Rajappan, Anoop; Jumet, Barclay; Shveda, Rachel A.; Decker, Colter J.; Liu, Zhen; Yap, Te Faye; Sanchez, Vanessa; Preston, Daniel J. (2022-08-30). "Logic-enabled textiles". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 119 (35): e2202118119. Bibcode:2022PNAS..11902118R. doi:10.1073/pnas.2202118119. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 9436326. PMID 35994641.
  14. ^ Meyer, James A.; Joyce, James W. (1968). "The Fluid Amplifier and its Application in Medical Devices". Anesthesia & Analgesia. 47 (6): 710–716. doi:10.1213/00000539-196811000-00015. PMID 5247311. S2CID 28322668.
  15. ^ "3D-printed open source ventilator for medical purposes". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  16. ^ "Worldwide Ventilator". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  17. ^ "Volunteers develop 3D printable ventilator based on 1965 usarmy design". 2020-04-09. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  18. ^ Bühling, Benjamin; Strangfeld, Christoph; Maack, Stefan; Schweitzer, Thorge (2021-04-01). "Experimental analysis of the acoustic field of an ultrasonic pulse induced by a fluidic switch". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 149 (4): 2150–2158. Bibcode:2021ASAJ..149.2150B. doi:10.1121/10.0003937. ISSN 0001-4966. PMID 33940860. S2CID 233568721.
  19. ^ John, P. (2010). "The flapless air vehicle integrated industrial research (FLAVIIR) programme in aeronautical engineering". Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering. London: Mechanical Engineering Publications. 224 (4): 355–363. doi:10.1243/09544100JAERO580. hdl:1826/5579. ISSN 0954-4100. S2CID 56205932. Archived from the original on 2018-05-17.
  20. ^ "Showcase UAV Demonstrates Flapless Flight". BAE Systems. 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  21. ^ "Demon UAV jets into history by flying without flaps". Metro.co.uk. London: Associated Newspapers Limited. 2010-09-28.
  22. ^ a b Yagle, P. J.; Miller, D. N.; Ginn, K. B.; Hamstra, J. W. (2001). "Demonstration of Fluidic Throat Skewing for Thrust Vectoring in Structurally Fixed Nozzles". Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power. 123 (3): 502–508. doi:10.1115/1.1361109.
  23. ^ Uppal, Rahesh (2022-03-03). "Active Flow Control for Stealth Aircraft and Drones". International Defense, Security & Technology (IDST). Retrieved 2023-05-30.
  24. ^ Making aircraft less detectable (video). Europe, United States: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2023-05-30.
  25. ^ Christopher, Dombrowski (2010-10-05). "New test plane flies without control surfaces". Ars Technica. Wired Media Group. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  26. ^ Axe, David (2019-02-13). "The F-22 and B-2 Bomber Are Old: A New Generation of Super Stealth Is Coming". The National Interest. Center for the National Interest. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  27. ^ "Successful first flight trial completion of unmanned aerial vehicle, MAGMA". BAE Systems. 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  28. ^ Burrows, Leah (2016). "The first autonomous, entirely soft robot". Retrieved 2019-06-12.

Further reading Edit

  • Belstirling, Charles A. (1971). Fluidic Systems Design. Wiley.
  • Lal, Jagdish (1963). "Hydraulics". Metropolitan Book. ASIN B0007IWSX2. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • O. Lew wood (June 1964). "Pure Fluid Device". Machine Design: 154–180.
  • Tarumoto, E. F.; Humphrey, D. H. (1965). "Fluidics". Fluid Amplifier Associates, Inc. ASIN B000HBV114. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Bowles, R. E.; Dexter, E. M. (October 1965). "A second Generation of Fluid System Application". Fluid Amplification Symposium: 213. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Fitch, Jr., Ernest C. (1966). Fluid Logic. Oklahoma State University.
  • Brown, Forbes T. (1967). Advances in Fluidics. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. ASIN B000I3ZC7K.
  • Foster, Kenneth (1970). Fluidics: Components and Circuits. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780471267706.
  • Lal, Jagdish (1975). "Hydraulic Machines". Metropolitan Book. ASIN B000HBV114. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Conway, Arthur, ed. (1971). A Guide to Fluidics. American Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-44419601-9.
  • U.S. Patent 3,417,770
  • U.S. Patent 3,495,253
  • U.S. Patent 3,503,410
  • U.S. Patent 3,612,085
  • U.S. Patent 4,854,176
  • FLODAC – A Pure Fluid Digital Computer: U.S. Patent 3,190,554
  • Stanley W. Angrist: Fluid control devices. In: Scientific American, December 1964, pp. 80–88. [1]
  • O. Lew wood (June 1964). "Pure Fluid Device". Machine Design: 154–180.
  • Pneumatic logic elements from 1969

External links Edit

  • Fluidics: How They've Taught A Stream of Air to Think pp. 118–121,196.197, illustrating several switch designs and discussing applications. Scanned article available online from Google Books: Popular Science June 1967
  • Visualization of the flow field of a fluidic oscillator