A Piezoelectrically Actuated Micro Synthetic Jet for Active Flow Control

, , , and . Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 108 (1–3): 168--174 (Nov 15, 2003)


The synthetic jet actuator (SJA) is a low power, highly compact microfluidic device which has potential application in boundary layer flow control. In recent work we have shown how synthetic jets work without cross flow and how effectively they modify the flow structure in the boundary layer under an adverse pressure gradient. This paper describes the piezoelectric synthetic jet actuator used in our experiments. The experimental set-up for flow control using this type of actuator is detailed. The results obtained show a significant enhancement of the jet effectiveness by forcing the boundary layer flow at the natural instability frequency. The actuators must have sufficient velocity output to produce strong enough vortices if they are to be effective for flow control. The forcing effect can occur at a frequency lower than the driving frequency of the actuator when used without cross flow. The forcing frequency appears to be an important parameter in synthetic jet boundary layer flow control.

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