Skip to Main Content
A number of exploratory studies have been made during the past five years on the use of fluid logic elements to replace conventional electronics in certain applications. IBM began to study fluid logic at the Zurich Research Laboratory about 1956. This work was initially directed toward using a spool valve to perform the logic function1 but was rapidly expanded to investigate other elements. Most of the present interest in fluid logic is a result of the invention of the fluid jet amplifier (wall interaction amplifier) in 1959 at the Harry Diamond Laboratory. This amplifier consists of a high-energy stream of fluid passing through a nozzle into a cavity which contains two diverging walls. Control channels are located perpendicular to the nozzle, enabling low-energy control streams to switch the high-energy stream from one wall to the other.2 This element can be made either monostable or bistable and has been constructed to produce several logic functions (and, or, nor, etc.). By combining these into a system, one can produce some rather sophisticated logic. Although the element by itself appears to be simple, considerable expertise is required to connect a number of elements together into a reliable system
Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.