Technical Briefs

A Pseudo-Rigid-Body Model for Large Deflections of Fixed-Clamped Carbon Nanotubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Larry L. Howell

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602

Christopher M. DiBiasio, Michael A. Cullinan, Robert M. Panas, Martin L. Culpepper

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

J. Mechanisms Robotics 2(3), 034501 (Jul 14, 2010) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001726 History: Received August 12, 2008; Revised April 06, 2010; Published July 14, 2010; Online July 14, 2010

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may be used to create nanoscale compliant mechanisms that possess large ranges of motion relative to their device size. Many macroscale compliant mechanisms contain compliant elements that are subjected to fixed-clamped boundary conditions, indicating that they may be of value in nanoscale design. The combination of boundary conditions and large strains yield deformations at the tube ends and strain stiffening along the length of the tube, which are not observed in macroscale analogs. The large-deflection behavior of a fixed-clamped CNT is not well-predicted by macroscale large-deflection beam bending models or truss models. Herein, we show that a pseudo-rigid-body model may be adapted to capture the strain stiffening behavior and, thereby, predict a CNT’s fixed-clamped behavior with less than 3% error from molecular simulations. The resulting pseudo-rigid-body model may be used to set initial design parameters for CNT-based compliant mechanisms. This removes the need for iterative, time-intensive molecular simulations during initial design phases.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 6

Simulated and modeled elastomechanic response

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Figure 7

Zones of deformation in one CNT beam

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Figure 1

Fixed-clamped (a) and fixed-guided element (b)

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Figure 2

A CNT–based linear motion flexure

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Figure 3

Structure of a SWCNT

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Figure 4

Strain energy storage for CNT fixed-guided beams

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Figure 5

Compliant element to rigid-link analogy

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Figure 8

Effect of γ on the elastomechanic response




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