Technical Brief

Design and Modeling of a Variable Thickness Flexure Pivot

[+] Author and Article Information
Miao Yang

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, China
e-mail: yangmiaopeter@163.com

Zhijiang Du

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, China
e-mail: duzj01@hit.edu.cn

Wei Dong

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, China
e-mail: dongwei@hit.edu.cn

Lining Sun

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, China
e-mail: lnsun@hit.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received December 13, 2017; final manuscript received July 18, 2018; published online November 13, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Hai-Jun Su.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 11(1), 014502 (Nov 13, 2018) (6 pages) Paper No: JMR-17-1415; doi: 10.1115/1.4041787 History: Received December 13, 2017; Revised July 18, 2018

Flexure pivots are frequently applied in long stroke compliant mechanisms to transmit motion continuously. To improve the motion accuracy, a kind of variable thickness flexure pivot (VTFP) is proposed in this paper. A nonlinear beam element is proposed by utilizing the corotational approach to model the static response of the VTFP under end loads. Finite element analysis and experimental tests are carried out to verify the effectiveness of the modeling method. Based on the static deformation model, the motion range, the rotation stiffness, the center shift, and the variation of the center shift under axial force of the VTFP are investigated. The results show that the VTFP has better motion accuracy and better ability to resist axial force compared with the conventional flexure pivot.

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Fig. 1

Geometric schematic of the conventional flexure pivot and the VTFP: (a) the conventional flexure pivot and (b) the VTFP

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Fig. 2

The shape of the variable thickness spring leaf

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Fig. 3

Initial and deformed configuration of a two-node beam element

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Fig. 4

Finite element mode of the VTFP

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Fig. 5

Experimental setup: 1—the CCD camera, 2—the bracket, 3—the VTFP, and 4—the base

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Fig. 6

Transverse displacement of point M

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Fig. 7

Rotation angle of the VTFP

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Fig. 8

Relationship between rotation range and thickness factor for VTFPs

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Fig. 9

Relationship between the end moment and rotation angle for VTFPs

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Fig. 10

Relationship between the center shift and rotation angle for VTFPs

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Fig. 11

Relationship between the variation of center shift and thickness coefficient for VTFPs



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