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. Characterization was carried out in the form of several experimental bending tests and tension tests on representative hinges in five different configurations. The modeling portion is achieved using a planar pseudo rigid body (PRB) analytical model for these hinges. A simplified planar 3-spring PRB analytical model was developed, consisting of a torsional spring, an axial spring, and another torsional spring in series. These analytical models enable the efficient exploration of large design spaces. The analytical model has been verified to within an accuracy of 3% error in pure bending, and 7% in pure tension, when compared to finite element analysis (FEA) models. Using this analytical model, a complete mechanism—a robotic leg consisting of four rigid links and four compliant hinges—has been analyzed and compared to a corresponding FEA model and a fabricated mechanism.
Characterization and Modeling of Elastomeric Joints in Miniature Compliant Mechanisms
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received December 7, 2012; final manuscript received August 6, 2013; published online October 10, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Anupam Saxena.
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Vogtmann, D. E., Gupta, S. K., and Bergbreiter, S. (October 10, 2013). "Characterization and Modeling of Elastomeric Joints in Miniature Compliant Mechanisms." ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics. November 2013; 5(4): 041017. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4025298
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