Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

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Bending and vibration of a discontinuous beam with a curvic coupling under different axial forces
Heng LIU, Jie HONG, Dayi ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0584-4
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The transverse stiffness and vibration characteristics of discontinuous beams can significantly differ from those of continuous beams given that an abrupt change in stiffness may occur at the interface of the former. In this study, the equations for the deflection curve and vibration frequencies of a simply supported discontinuous beam under axial loads are derived analytically on the basis of boundary, continuity, and deformation compatibility conditions by using equivalent spring models. The equation for the deflection curve is solved using undetermined coefficient methods. The normal function of the transverse vibration equation is obtained by separating variables. The differential equations for the beam that consider moments of inertia, shearing effects, and gyroscopic moments are investigated using the transfer matrix method. The deflection and vibration frequencies of the discontinuous beam are studied under different axial loads and connection spring stiffness. Results show that deflection decreases and vibration frequencies increase exponentially with increasing connection spring stiffness. Moreover, both variables remain steady when connection spring stiffness reaches a considerable value. Lastly, an experimental study is conducted to investigate the vibration characteristics of a discontinuous beam with a curvic coupling, and the results exhibit a good match with the proposed model.

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Two-sided ultrasonic surface rolling process of aeroengine blades based on on-machine noncontact measurement
Shulei YAO, Xian CAO, Shuang LIU, Kaiming ZHANG, Xiancheng ZHANG, Congyang GONG, Chengcheng ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0581-7
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As crucial parts of an aeroengine, blades are vulnerable to damage from long-term operation in harsh environments. The ultrasonic surface rolling process (USRP) is a novel surface treatment technique that can highly improve the mechanical behavior of blades. During secondary machining, the nominal blade model cannot be used for secondary machining path generation due to the deviation between the actual and nominal blades. The clamping error of the blade also affects the precision of secondary machining. This study presents a two-sided USRP (TS-USRP) machining for aeroengine blades on the basis of on-machine noncontact measurement. First, a TS-USRP machining system for blade is developed. Second, a 3D scanning system is used to obtain the point cloud of the blade, and a series of point cloud processing steps is performed. A local point cloud automatic extraction algorithm is introduced to extract the point cloud of the strengthened region of the blade. Then, the tool path is designed on the basis of the extracted point cloud. Finally, an experiment is conducted on an actual blade, with results showing that the proposed method is effective and efficient.

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An isogeometric numerical study of partially and fully implicit schemes for transient adjoint shape sensitivity analysis
Zhen-Pei WANG, Zhifeng XIE, Leong Hien POH
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0575-5
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In structural design optimization involving transient responses, time integration scheme plays a crucial role in sensitivity analysis because it affects the accuracy and stability of transient analysis. In this work, the influence of time integration scheme is studied numerically for the adjoint shape sensitivity analysis of two benchmark transient heat conduction problems within the framework of isogeometric analysis. It is found that (i) the explicit approach ( β = 0) and semi-implicit approach with β<0.5 impose a strict stability condition of the transient analysis; (ii) the implicit approach (β=1) and semi-implicit approach with β> 0.5 are generally preferred for their unconditional stability; and (iii) Crank–Nicolson type approach (β=0.5) may induce a large error for large time-step sizes due to the oscillatory solutions. The numerical results also show that the time-step size does not have to be chosen to satisfy the critical conditions for all of the eigen-frequencies. It is recommended to use β 0.75 for unconditional stability, such that the oscillation condition is much less critical than the Crank–Nicolson scheme, and the accuracy is higher than a fully implicit approach.

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Analysis and control of micro-stepping characteristics of ultrasonic motor
Ning CHEN, Jieji ZHENG, Xianliang JIANG, Shixun FAN, Dapeng FAN
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0577-3
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Micro-stepping motion of ultrasonic motors satisfies biomedical applications, such as cell operation and nuclear magnetic resonance, which require a precise compact-structure non-magnetization positioning device. When the pulse number is relatively small, the stopping characteristics have a non-negligible effect on the entire stepwise process. However, few studies have been conducted to show the rule of the open-loop stepwise motion, especially the shutdown stage. In this study, the modal differences of the shutdown stage are found connected with amplitude and velocity at the turn-off instant. Changes of the length in the contact area and driving zone as well as the input currents, vibration states, output torque, and axial pressure are derived by a simulation model to further explore the rules. The speed curves and vibration results in functions of different pulse numbers are compared, and the stepwise motion can be described by a two-stage two-order transfer function. A test workbench based on the Field Programmable Gate Array is built for acquiring the speed, currents, and feedback voltages of the startup–shutdown stage accurately with the help of its excellent synchronization performances. Therefore, stator vibration, rotor velocity, and terminal displacements under different pulse numbers can be compared. Moreover, the two-stage two-order model is identified on the stepwise speed curves, and the fitness over 85% between the simulation and test verifies the model availability. Finally, with the optimization of the pulse number, the motor achieves 3.3 µrad in clockwise and counterclockwise direction.

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Review of the crushing response of collapsible tubular structures
Vivek PATEL, Gaurav TIWARI, Ravikumar DUMPALA
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0579-1
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Studies on determining and analyzing the crushing response of tubular structures are of significant interest, primarily due to their relation to safety. Several aspects of tubular structures, such as geometry, material, configuration, and hybrid structure, have been used as criteria for evaluation. In this review, a comprehensive analysis of the important findings of extensive research on understanding the crushing response of thin-walled tubular structures is presented. Advancements in thin-walled structures, including multi-cell tube, honeycomb and foam-filled, multi wall, and functionally graded thickness tubes, are also discussed, focusing on their energy absorption ability. An extensive review of experimentation and numerical analysis used to extract the deformation behavior of materials, such as aluminum and steel, against static and dynamic loadings are also provided. Several tube shapes, such as tubes of uniform and nonuniform (tapered) cross sections of circular, square, and rectangular shapes, have been used in different studies to identify their efficacy. Apart from geometric and loading parameters, the effects of fabrication process, heat treatment, and triggering mechanism on initiating plastic deformation, such as cutouts and grooves, on the surface of tubular structures are discussed.

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Experimental study on high-efficiency polishing for potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystal by using two-phase air–water fluid
Ziyuan LIU, Hang GAO, Dongming GUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0576-4
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A high-efficiency polishing approach using two-phase air–water fluid (TAWF) is proposed to avoid surface contamination and solve the inefficiency of previous water-dissolution polishing techniques for potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystal. In the proposed method, controllable deliquescence is implemented without any chemical impurity. The product of deliquescence is then removed by a polishing pad to achieve surface planarization. The mechanism underlying TAWF polishing is analyzed, a special device is built to polish the KDP crystal, and the effect of relative humidity (RH) on polishing performance is studied. The relationship between key parameters of polishing and surface planarization is also investigated. Results show that the polishing performance is improved with increasing RH. However, precisely controlling the RH is extremely difficult during TAWF polishing. Controllable deliquescence can easily be disrupted once the RH fluctuates, which therefore needs to be restricted to a low level to avoid its influence on deliquescence rate. The material removal of TAWF polishing is mainly attributed to the synergistic effect of deliquescence and the polishing pad. Excessive polishing pressure and revolution rate remarkably reduce the life of the polishing pad and the surface quality of the KDP crystal. TAWF polishing using IC-1000 and TEC-168S increase the machining efficiency by 150%, and a smooth surface with a root mean square surface roughness of 5.5 nm is obtained.

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Multidisciplinary co-design optimization of structural and control parameters for bucket wheel reclaimer
Yongliang YUAN, Liye LV, Shuo WANG, Xueguan SONG
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0578-2
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Bucket wheel reclaimer (BWR) is an extremely complex engineering machine that involves multiple disciplines, such as structure, dynamics, and electromechanics. The conventional design strategy, namely, sequential strategy, is structural design followed by control optimization. However, the global optimal solution is difficult to achieve because of the discoordination of structural and control parameters. The co-design strategy is explored to address the aforementioned problem by combining the structural and control system design based on simultaneous dynamic optimization approach. The radial basis function model is applied for the planning of the rotation speed considering the relationships of subsystems to minimize the energy consumption per volume. Co-design strategy is implemented to resolve the optimization problem, and numerical results are compared with those of sequential strategy. The dynamic response of the BWR is also analyzed with different optimization strategies to evaluate the advantages of the strategies. Results indicate that co-design strategy not only can reduce the energy consumption of the BWR but also can achieve a smaller vibration amplitude than the sequential strategy.

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Dynamic modulation performance of ferroelectric liquid crystal polarization rotators and Mueller matrix polarimeter optimization
Song ZHANG, Lelun WANG, Anze YI, Honggang GU, Xiuguo CHEN, Hao JIANG, Shiyuan LIU
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0573-7
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A ferroelectric liquid crystal polarization rotator (FLCPR) has been widely used in polarization measurement due to its fast and stable modulation characteristics. The accurate characterization of the modulation performance of FLCPR directly affects the measurement accuracy of the instrument based on liquid crystal modulation. In this study, FLCPR is accurately characterized using a self-developed high-speed Stokes polarimeter. Strong linear and weak circular birefringence are observed during modulation processes, and all the optical parameters of FLCPR are dependent on driving voltage. A dual FLCPR-based Mueller matrix polarimeter is designed on the basis of the Stokes polarimeter. The designed polarimeter combines the advantages of the high modulation frequency of FLCPR and the ultrahigh temporal resolution of the fast polarization measurement system in the Stokes polarimeter. The optimal configuration of the designed polarizer is predicted in accordance with singular value decomposition. A simulated thickness measurement of a 24 nm standard SiO2 thin film is performed using the optimal configuration. Results show that the relative error in thickness measurement caused by using the unsatisfactory modulation characteristics of FLCPR reaches up to −4.34%. This finding demonstrates the importance of the accurate characterization of FLCPR in developing a Mueller matrix polarizer.

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Digital high-efficiency print forming method and device for multi-material casting molds
Zhongde SHAN, Zhi GUO, Dong DU, Feng LIU, Wenjiang LI
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0574-6
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Sand mold 3D printing technology based on the principle of droplet ejection has undergone rapid development in recent years and has elicited increasing attention from engineers and technicians. However, current sand mold 3D printing technology exhibits several problems, such as single-material printing molds, low manufacturing efficiency, and necessary post-process drying and heating for the manufacture of sand molds. This study proposes a novel high-efficiency print forming method and device for multi-material casting molds. The proposed method is specifically related to the integrated forming of two-way coating and printing and the short-flow manufacture of roller compaction and layered heating. These processes can realize the high-efficiency print forming of high-performance sand molds. Experimental results demonstrate that the efficiency of sand mold fabrication can be increased by 200% using the proposed two-way coating and printing method. The integrated forming method for layered heating and roller compaction presented in this study effectively shortens the manufacturing process for 3D-printed sand molds, increases sand mold strength by 63.8%, and reduces resin usage by approximately 30%. The manufacture of multi-material casting molds is demonstrated on typical wheeled cast-iron parts. This research provides theoretical guidance for the engineering application of sand mold 3D printing.

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Sagittal SLIP-anchored task space control for a monopode robot traversing irregular terrain
Haitao YU, Haibo GAO, Liang DING, Zongquan DENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0569-3
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As a well-explored template that captures the essential dynamical behaviors of legged locomotion on sagittal plane, the spring-loaded inverted pendulum (SLIP) model has been extensively employed in both biomechanical study and robotics research. Aiming at fully leveraging the merits of the SLIP model to generate the adaptive trajectories of the center of mass (CoM) with maneuverability, this study presents a novel two-layered sagittal SLIP-anchored (SSA) task space control for a monopode robot to deal with terrain irregularity. This work begins with an analytical investigation of sagittal SLIP dynamics by deriving an approximate solution with satisfactory apex prediction accuracy, and a two-layered SSA task space controller is subsequently developed for the monopode robot. The higher layer employs an analytical approximate representation of the sagittal SLIP model to form a deadbeat controller, which generates an adaptive reference trajectory for the CoM. The lower layer enforces the monopode robot to reproduce a generated CoM movement by using a task space controller to transfer the reference CoM commands into joint torques of the multi-degree of freedom monopode robot. Consequently, an adaptive hopping behavior is exhibited by the robot when traversing irregular terrain. Simulation results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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