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A Closed-Form Model for the Support Stiffness of Spatial Flexure Strips With Limited Twist

[+] Author Affiliations
Marijn Nijenhuis, Dannis M. Brouwer

University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands

Paper No. DETC2016-59979, pp. V05AT07A027; 10 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 40th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5015-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


The stiffness characteristics of flexure strips in the constrained directions are an important attribute of their behavior when serving as a constituent of flexure mechanisms. The decrease in support stiffness that accompanies movement in the intended degrees of freedom limits the performance of mechanisms comprised of such strips. This paper presents a closed-form nonlinear model that describes the support stiffness in 3-D under arbitrary end-load for the elementary flexure strip. The formulation takes into account geometrical nonlinearities by means of finite strain relations and deformed-configuration equilibrium equations. By distinguishing the low-stiffness large-deflection motion (the degrees of freedom) from the high-stiffness small-deflection motion (the constrained motion) with the appropriate simplification of limited twist, a closed-form stiffness model is obtained for dimension and load ranges of practical interest.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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