The analysis of systems containing highly flexible members is made difficult by the nonlineararities caused by large deflections of the flexible members. The analysis and design of many such systems may be simplified by using pseudo-rigid-body approximations in modeling the flexible members. The pseudo-rigid-body model represents flexible members as rigid links, joined at pin joints with torsional springs. Appropriate values for link lengths and torsional spring stiffnesses are determined such that the deflection path and force-deflection relationships are modeled accurately. Pseudo-rigid-body approximations have been developed for initially straight beams with externally applied forces at the beam end. This work develops approximations for another fundamental type of flexible member, the initially curved beam with applied force at the beam end. This type of flexible member is commonly used in compliant mechanisms. An example of the use of the resulting pseudo-rigid-body approximations in compliant mechanisms is included.

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