Improved dynamic performance in flexure mechanisms by overconstraining using viscoelastic material

M. Nijenhuis*, S. T.B. Klein Avink, W. K. Dierkes, J. W.M. Noordermeer, D. M. Brouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
391 Downloads (Pure)


Flexure mechanisms are commonly designed to be exactly constrained to favor determinism, though at the expense of limitations on the maximum parasitic natural frequencies and support stiffness. This paper presents the use of viscoelastic material for providing additional support stiffness in a certain frequency range without the indeterminism commonly associated with overconstraining. This design principle of dynamically stiffened exact-constraint design is exemplified by a parallelogram flexure mechanism. Experiments demonstrate that a custom synthesized elastomer compound can compensate for unintended misalignments without significant internal stress buildup, while improving the dynamic performance in terms of a higher first parasitic natural frequency. An analytical investigation clarifies the relationship between misalignment, internal load, stiffness and natural frequency. Using the buckling modes of the system, the nonlinear geometric stiffness is modeled accurately up to the bifurcation. The measurements and analytical model are corroborated by a nonlinear flexible multibody analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalPrecision engineering
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Buckling
  • Design principle
  • Deterministic design
  • Elastomer
  • Exact-constraint design
  • Misalignment
  • Overconstraints
  • Parallelogram flexure mechanism
  • Polymer
  • Statically determinate design
  • Viscoelastic


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