Research Papers: Design of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems

A Review on Compliant Joints and Rigid-Body Constant Velocity Universal Joints Toward the Design of Compliant Homokinetic Couplings

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Farhadi Machekposhti

Department of Precision and Microsystems
Delft University of Technology,
Mekelweg 2,
Delft 2628 CD, The Netherlands
e-mail: d.farhadimachekposhti@tudelft.nl

N. Tolou

Department of Precision and Microsystems
Delft University of Technology,
Mekelweg 2,
Delft 2628 CD, The Netherlands
e-mail: n.tolou@tudelft.nl

J. L. Herder

Department of Precision and Microsystems
Delft University of Technology,
Mekelweg 2,
Delft 2628 CD, The Netherlands
e-mail: j.l.herder@tudelft.nl

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received December 28, 2013; final manuscript received December 3, 2014; published online January 15, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Chintien Huang.

J. Mech. Des 137(3), 032301 (Mar 01, 2015) (12 pages) Paper No: MD-13-1596; doi: 10.1115/1.4029318 History: Received December 28, 2013; Revised December 03, 2014; Online January 15, 2015

This paper presents for the first time a literature survey toward the design of compliant homokinetic couplings. The rigid-linkage-based constant velocity universal joints (CV joints) available from literature were studied, classified, their graph representations were presented, and their mechanical efficiencies compared. Similarly, literature is reviewed for different kinds of compliant joints suitable to replace instead of rigid-body joints in rigid-body CV joints. The compliant joints are compared based on analytical data. To provide a common basis for comparison, consistent flexure scales and material selection are used. It was found that existing compliant universal joints are nonconstant in velocity and designed based on rigid-body Hooke's universal joint. It was also discovered that no compliant equivalent exists for cylindrical, planar, spherical fork, and spherical parallelogram quadrilateral joints. We have demonstrated these compliant joints can be designed by combining existing compliant joints. The universal joints found in this survey are rigid-body non-CV joints, rigid-body CV joints, or compliant non-CV joints. A compliant homokinetic coupling is expected to combine the advantages of compliant mechanisms and constant velocity couplings for many applications where maintenance or cleanliness is important, for instance in medical devices and precision instruments.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the classification levels to compare the rigid-body CV joints

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Graph representation for linkage type rigid-body CV joints

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Compliant revolute joints; (a) rectangular, (b) RCCF, (c) circular, (d) “a” parabolic, “b” hyperbolic, “c” elliptical, “d” cycloidal, (e) V-shape, (f) cross axis, (g) cartwheel, (h) X2, (i) LITF, (j) ADLIF, (k) butterfly, (l) CR-1, (m) CR-2, (n) ∞-flexure hinge, (o) CR-3, (p) multileaf, (q) multileaf spring, (r) split-tube-1(ST-1), (s) ST-2, (t) spiral, (u) helical, (v) annulus-shape, (w) revolute pair, (x) XR-joint, (y) contact-aided, and (z) rolling contact-2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Compliant universal joints; (a) two-axis flexure joint, (b) notch U joint-1, (c) notch U joint-2, (d) collinear notch joint, (e) CU joint, (f) XU-joint, (g) Stark-1, (h) Stark-2, and (i) compliant cardan U joint

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Compliant spherical joints: (a) three-axis flexure joint and (b) CS joint

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Compliant translational joints: (a) four-bar-notch block and (b) double notch block, (c) symmetrical double notch block, (d) four-bar block, (e) double block, (f) symmetrical double block, (g) folded beam, (h) planar CT joint, and (i) double XBob

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

The range of motion, the dimensionless ratios of off-axis rotational stiffness to on-axis rotational stiffness, axis drift, and size of each compliant revolute joint, if data were available. The values were normalized to the largest in the group, shown in logarithmic scale. The flexure types are notch-type (N-T), leaf-spring (L-S), and tap-spring (T-S).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

The dimensionless ratio for range of motion (δ*), the dimensionless ratio of off-axis translational stiffness to on-axis translational stiffness (γ), and size of each compliant translational joint, if data were available. The values were normalized to the largest in the group, shown in logarithmic scale. The flexure types are notch-type (N-T) and leaf-spring (L-S).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Proposed: (a) compliant spherical fork joint, (b) compliant cylindrical joint, and (c) compliant planar joint as an example

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Proposed compliant homokinetic coupling based on Double-Hooke's universal joint as an example



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