Evaluation of Equivalent Spring Stiffness for Use in a Pseudo-Rigid-Body Model of Large-Deflection Compliant Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
L. L. Howell

Mechanical Engineering Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-4138

A. Midha

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1288

T. W. Norton

Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, TN 37662

J. Mech. Des 118(1), 126-131 (Mar 01, 1996) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2826843 History: Received February 01, 1994; Revised August 01, 1995; Online December 11, 2007


Compliant mechanisms gain some or all of their mobility from the flexibility of their members rather than from rigid-body joints only. More efficient and usable analysis and design techniques are needed before the advantages of compliant mechanisms can be fully utilized. In an earlier work, a pseudo-rigid-body model concept, corresponding to an end-loaded geometrically nonlinear, large-deflection beam, was developed to help fulfill this need. In this paper, the pseudo-rigid-body equivalent spring stiffness is investigated and new modeling equations are proposed. The result is a simplified method of modeling the force/deflection relationships of large-deflection members in compliant mechanisms. The resulting models are valuable in the visualization of the motion of large-deflection systems, as well as the quick and efficient evaluation and optimization of compliant mechanism designs.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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