This paper presents the study of a microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-scaled microthruster using ceramic as the structural material. A vaporizing liquid microthruster (VLM) has been fabricated using the high temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC) technology. The developed microthruster consists of five components, i.e. inlet, injector, vaporizing chamber, micronozzle and microheater, all integrated in a chip with a dimension of 30 mm× 26 mm× 8 mm. In the dry test, the newly developed microheater which is deposited on zirconia substrate consumes 21% less electrical power than those deposited on silicon substrate to achieve a temperature of 100 °C. Heating temperature as high as 409.1 °C can be achieved using just 5 W of electrical power. For simplicity and safety, a functional test of the VLM with water as propellant has been conducted in the laboratory. Full vaporization of water propellant feeding at different flow rates has been successfully demonstrated. A maximum thrust of 633.5 μN at 1 μl s-1 propellant consumption rate was measured using a torsional thrust stand.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering