Flexible helical yarn swimmers
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 32000, Haifa, Israel
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Accepted: 9 September 2016
Published online: 27 September 2016
We investigate the motion of a flexible Stokesian flagellar swimmer realised as a yarn made of two intertwined elastomer fibres, one active, that can reversibly change its length in response to a local excitation causing transition to the nematic state or swelling, and the other one, a passive isotropic elastomer with identical mechanical properties. A propagating chemical wave may provide an excitation mechanism ensuring a constant length of the excited region. Generally, the swimmer moves along a helical trajectory, and the propagation and rotation velocity are very sensitive to the ratio of the excited region to the pitch of the yarn, as well as to the size of a carried load. External excitation by a moving actuating beam is less effective, unless the direction of the beam is adjusted to rotation of the swimmer.
Key words: Soft Matter: Liquid crystals
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2016