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Research Papers

Study of a Fully Compliant U-Joint Designed for Minirobotics Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Palmieri

 Università degli Studi e-Campus, Via Isimbardi, 22060 Novedrate (CO), Italygiacomo.palmieri@uniecampus.it

M. C. Palpacelli

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e Scienze Matematiche,  Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italym.palpacelli@univpm.it

M. Callegari

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e Scienze Matematiche,  Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italym.callegari@univpm.it

J. Mech. Des 134(11), 111003 (Oct 02, 2012) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007303 History: Received June 23, 2011; Revised July 16, 2012; Published October 02, 2012; Online October 02, 2012

The paper proposes the study of the kinetostatic behavior of a flexible universal joint for minirobotic applications. A closed-form formulation of joint’s compliance is obtained for linear elastic material and small displacements. It is also presented a numerical study that considers the joint realized with a superelastic shape memory alloys (SMA) material (Ni–Ti alloy); in this case, a finite element (FE) approach is used to overcome the strong nonlinearities arising from both the superelastic constitutive law and the large displacements. Besides the compliance properties of the joint, also kinematic performances are investigated, since the instantaneous rotation axis is expected to be floating around its ideal position because of parasitic elastic deformations.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Shape and geometric parameters of the universal flexible joint

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Figure 2

2-DOF minipointing device

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Figure 3

Examples of conventional geometries for flexible U-joints

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Figure 4

Frame settings for loads and displacements

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Figure 5

Scheme of the equivalent elastic configuration

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Figure 6

(a) Mesh of the FE model and (b) mesh detail in thin sections

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Figure 7

Ni–Ti alloys; (a) example of stress/strain experimental curve; (b) phase diagram in the Tσ plane; and (c) ansys ® SMA numerical model

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Figure 8

Loading cycle; (a) torque versus rotation angle and (b) angular stiffness versus rotation angle

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Figure 9

Von Mises equivalent stress for θx  = θy  = 14 deg

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Figure 10

Projections of the instantaneous rotation axes in the middle plane of the joint for different load cases: (a) Mx  = 10 Nmm; (b) My  = 10 Nmm; (c) Mx  = 10 Nmm, Fz  = −1 N; and (d) Fy  = −3 N

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Figure 11

Projections of the instantaneous rotation axes in the middle plane of the joint; Mx  = 10 Nmm with elastic material (E = 30 GPa)

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