Thrust Force Characterization of Oscillating Cantilevers Operating Near Resonance Academic Article uri icon


  • Harmonic oscillations from cantileverlike structures have found use in applications ranging from thermal management to atomic force microscopy and propulsion, due to their simplicity in design and ease of implementation. In addition, making use of resonance conditions, a very energy efficient solution is achievable. This paper focuses on the application of providing thrust through cantilever oscillations at or near the first mode of resonance. This method of actuation provides a balance between full biomimicry and ease of fabrication. Previous studies have shown promise in predicting the propulsion performance based on the operating parameters, however, they have only considered a single cantilever geometry. Here, additional cantilever sizes and materials are included, yielding a much larger design space to characterize the thrust trends. The thrust data is experimentally captured and is assembled into two sets of predictive correlations. The first is based on Reynolds and Strouhal numbers, while the second only employs the KeuleganCarpenter number. Both correlations are proven to predict the experimental data and can be shown to yield nearly identical proportional relationships after accounting for the cantilever frequency response. The findings presented in this research will aid in further understanding and assessing the capabilities of thrust generation for oscillating cantilevers, but also provides a foundation for other applications such as convection heat transfer and fluid transport.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Fluids Engineering

author list (cited authors)

  • Eastman, A., & Kimber, M. L.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Eastman, Andrew||Kimber, Mark L

publication date

  • July 2014