Energy harvesting from fluid-induced buckling of ionic polymer metal composites

Filippo Cellini, Youngsu Cha, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we assess the feasibility of energy harvesting from mechanical buckling of ionic polymer metal composites induced by a steady fluid flow. Specifically, we consider an underwater energy harvester composed of a paddle wheel, a slider-crank mechanism, and two ionic polymer metal composites clamped at both their ends. To enhance electromechanical transduction, the electrodes of the ionic polymer metal composites are split into three parts via a selective platinum deposition process. The system is installed in a water tunnel and experiments are performed to elucidate the influence of both the flow speed and the shunting resistance on energy harvesting. To provide a theoretical interpretation of the experimental results, the classical post-buckling theory of inextensible elastic beams is adapted to predict mechanical deformations and a lumped-circuit model is utilized to estimate the harvested power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1496-1510
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Buckling
  • Savonius rotor
  • energy harvesting
  • ionic polymer metal composite
  • underwater applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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