A spatial closed-form nonlinear stiffness model for sheet flexures based on a mixed variational principle including third-order effects

M. Nijenhuis*, J.P. Meijaard, D.M. Brouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The sheet flexure is commonly used to provide support stiffness in flexure mechanisms for precision applications. While the sheet flexure is often analyzed in a simplified form, e.g. by assuming planar deformation or linearized stiffness, the deformation in practice is spatial and sufficiently large that nonlinear effects due to the geometric stiffness are significant. This paper presents a compact analytical model for the nonlinear stiffness characteristics of spatially deforming sheet flexures under general 3-D load conditions at moderate deformations. This model provides closed-form expressions in a mixed stiffness and compliance matrix format that is tailored to flexure mechanism analysis. The effects of bending, shear, elongation, torsion and warping deformation are taken into account, so that the stiffness in all directions, including the in-plane lateral support direction, is modeled accurately. The model is verified numerically against beam and shell-based finite elements. The approach for deriving closed-form solutions in a nonlinear context is detailed in this paper. The Hellinger–Reissner variational principle with a specific physically motivated set of low-order interpolation functions is shown to be well-suited to the geometrically nonlinear analysis of flexures. An extension of the derivation approach to the nonlinear closed-form analysis of general flexure mechanisms consisting of multiple sheet flexures connected in parallel is presented. This is demonstrated with the case of a spatially deforming parallelogram flexure mechanism and a cross-hinge flexure mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-444
Number of pages16
JournalPrecision engineering
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Closed-form
  • Flexure mechanism
  • Flexure strip
  • Geometric stiffness
  • Leaf spring
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Sheet flexure

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