Modeling Large Deflections of Initially Curved Beams in Compliant Mechanisms Using Chained Beam-Constraint-Model

[+] Author and Article Information
Guimin Chen

State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Shaanxi Key Lab of Intelligent Robots, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710049, China

Fulei Ma

School of Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Xidian University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710071, China

Guangbo Hao

School of Engineering, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Weidong Zhu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD 21250, USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041585 History: Received March 24, 2018; Revised September 22, 2018


Understanding and analyzing large and nonlinear deflections is one of the major challenges of designing compliant mechanisms. Initially curved beams can offer potential advantages to designers of compliant mechanisms and provide useful alternatives to initially straight beams. However, the literature on analysis and design using such beams is rather limited. This paper presents a general and accurate method for modeling large planar deflections of initially curved beams of uniform cross-sections, which can be easily adapted to curved beams of various shapes. This method discretizes a curved beam into a few elements and models each element as a circular-arc beam using the beam constraint model (BCM), which is termed as the chained BCM (CBCM). Two different discretization schemes are provided for the method, among which the equal discretization is suitable for circular-arc beams and the unequal discretization is for curved beams of other shapes. Compliant mechanisms utilizing initially curved beams of circular-arc, cosine and parabola shapes are modeled to demonstrate the effectiveness of the CBCM for initially curved beams of various shapes. The method is also accurate enough to capture the relevant nonlinear load-deflection characteristics.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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