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Characterization and Modeling of Elastomeric Joints in Miniature Compliant Mechanisms

[+] Author Affiliations
Dana E. Vogtmann, Satyandra K. Gupta, Sarah Bergbreiter

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Paper No. DETC2012-71092, pp. 303-310; 8 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 36th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4503-5
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Accurate analysis models are critical for effectively utilizing elastomeric joints in miniature compliant mechanisms. This paper presents work toward the characterization and modeling of miniature elastomeric hinges. The modeling portion is achieved using finite element analysis (FEA). Also presented is a 2-dimensional pseudo rigid body (PRB) analytical model for these hinges. Characterization was carried out in the form of several experimental bending tests and tension tests on representative hinges in 5 different configurations. The results of these experiments were then compared to the same tests modeled using FEA. We have represented the experimental results using FEA to within 12% error. This allows the use of FEA to model more complicated mechanisms’ behavior with some assurance of accuracy. Based on these tests and FEA models, a simplified 2-dimensional PRB analytical model was developed, consisting of a torsional spring, a linear spring, and another torsional spring in series. These analytical models enable us explore large design spaces efficiently. The accuracy of this model for geometries without corner effects has been verified to within 3% error when compared to FEA models in bending, and 17% in tension.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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