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Design of Small-Scale Statically Balanced Compliant Joints

[+] Author Affiliations
Brian D. Jensen, Cesare H. Jenkins

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Paper No. DETC2011-47482, pp. 85-92; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 35th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5483-9
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This paper demonstrates a low stiffness compliant joint design obtained by balancing the energy stored within individual components of the mechanism. As a step toward a fully-compliant zero-stiffness joint, this paper presents the design of a partially-compliant joint. A wireform torsion bar partially compliant joint was optimized using a pseudo rigid body model. A low stiffness design was obtained by balancing the energy stored within individual components of the mechanism. The joint was then fabricated using piano wire, polypropylene and Delrin®. During testing it was found that friction in the joint was greater than any internal forces allowing the joint to be neutrally stable in all positions. Dynamic force deflection data on the joints was collected in order to investigate the friction characteristics. The Delrin® joint exhibited only Coulomb friction while the polypropylene model exhibited both Coulomb and viscous friction.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Design



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