This paper presents the results of a theoretical analysis of dynamic valve timing on the performance of a multistage peristaltic vacuum micropump. Prior work has shown that for optimum steady state performance a fixed valve timing which depends on the operating pressure can be found. However, the use of a fixed valve timing could hinder performance for transient operation when the pump is evacuating a fixed volume. At the beginning of the transient the pump operates at low pressure difference and a large flow rate would be desirable. As the pump reaches high vacuum the pressure difference is large and the flow rate is necessarily small. Astle and coworkers1–3 have shown using a reduced order model that for steady state operation short valve open time results in lower inlet pressure and flow-rate and conversely. Here we extend the model of Astle and coworkers to include transient operation, multiple coupled stages and non-ideal leaky valves, and show that dynamic valve timing (DVT) reduces the transient duration by 30% compared to high vacuum pressure valve timing. The results also show a significant reduction in resonant frequency of the pump at low pressures, and quantify the effect of valve leakage.

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