Reliability-Based Optimal Design of a Bistable Compliant Mechanism

[+] Author and Article Information
L. L. Howell, S. S. Rao, A. Midha

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

J. Mech. Des 116(4), 1115-1121 (Dec 01, 1994) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2919495 History: Received February 01, 1993; Revised July 01, 1993; Online June 02, 2008


Compliant mechanisms obtain at least some of their motion from the deflection of their flexible members. Advantages of such mechanisms include the reduction of manufacturing and assembly cost and time. Bistable mechanisms are particularly useful in applications where two stable equilibrium positions are required, such as switches, gates, and closures. Fatigue is a major concern in many compliant mechanisms due to the cyclic stresses induced on the flexible members. In this paper, a method for the probabilistic design of a bistable compliant slider-crank mechanism is proposed. Link lengths, material properties, and cross-section dimensions are taken as random variables. Probabilistic constraints on the maximum and minimum required input torque, location of stable equilibrium position, and overall size are included. The objective function is the maximization of the mechanism reliability in fatigue. Several design studies are performed to gain further insight into the nature of the problem.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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