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Additive manufacturing: technology, applications and research needs
Nannan GUO, Ming C. LEU
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (3): 215-243.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0248-8
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Additive manufacturing (AM) technology has been researched and developed for more than 20 years. Rather than removing materials, AM processes make three-dimensional parts directly from CAD models by adding materials layer by layer, offering the beneficial ability to build parts with geometric and material complexities that could not be produced by subtractive manufacturing processes. Through intensive research over the past two decades, significant progress has been made in the development and commercialization of new and innovative AM processes, as well as numerous practical applications in aerospace, automotive, biomedical, energy and other fields. This paper reviews the main processes, materials and applications of the current AM technology and presents future research needs for this technology.

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Remote calibration system for frequency based on in-place benchmark
Xiaobin HONG, Guixiong LIU, Zhuokui WU, Xipeng DU,
Front. Mech. Eng.    2010, 5 (3): 316-321.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-010-0021-1
Abstract   PDF (248KB)
According to the deficiencies of remote calibration mode based on material object reference, a new model of a remote calibration system for frequency based on in-place benchmark is introduced, which is made of a calibration subsystem on the spot and a remote management subsystem. The key technology of some key problems for the remote calibration system is particularly discussed, including the time and frequency benchmark receiving module based on global positioning system (GPS), frequency comparison based on a phase method, frequency division based on dual high-frequency phase locked loop (PLL), and remote calibration based on the web. The results show that the system possesses some characteristics, such as high precision, good versatility, and no limitation of time and place.
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Fault diagnosis of spur gearbox based on random forest and wavelet packet decomposition
Diego CABRERA,Fernando SANCHO,René-Vinicio SÁNCHEZ,Grover ZURITA,Mariela CERRADA,Chuan LI,Rafael E. VÁSQUEZ
Front. Mech. Eng.    2015, 10 (3): 277-286.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-015-0348-8
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This paper addresses the development of a random forest classifier for the multi-class fault diagnosis in spur gearboxes. The vibration signal’s condition parameters are first extracted by applying the wavelet packet decomposition with multiple mother wavelets, and the coefficients’ energy content for terminal nodes is used as the input feature for the classification problem. Then, a study through the parameters’ space to find the best values for the number of trees and the number of random features is performed. In this way, the best set of mother wavelets for the application is identified and the best features are selected through the internal ranking of the random forest classifier. The results show that the proposed method reached 98.68% in classification accuracy, and high efficiency and robustness in the models.

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Review on the progress of ultra-precision machining technologies
Julong YUAN, Binghai LYU, Wei HANG, Qianfa DENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (2): 158-180.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0455-9
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Ultra-precision machining technologies are the essential methods, to obtain the highest form accuracy and surface quality. As more research findings are published, such technologies now involve complicated systems engineering and been widely used in the production of components in various aerospace, national defense, optics, mechanics, electronics, and other high-tech applications. The conception, applications and history of ultra-precision machining are introduced in this article, and the developments of ultra-precision machining technologies, especially ultra-precision grinding, ultra-precision cutting and polishing are also reviewed. The current state and problems of this field in China are analyzed. Finally, the development trends of this field and the coping strategies employed in China to keep up with the trends are discussed.

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A multi-probe micro-fabrication apparatus based on the friction-induced fabrication method
Zhijiang WU, Chenfei SONG, Jian GUO, Bingjun YU, Linmao QIAN
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (4): 333-339.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0276-4
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A novel multi-probe micro-fabrication apparatus was developed based on the friction-induced fabrication method. The main parts of the apparatus include actuating device, loading system, and control system. With a motorized XY linear stage, the maximum fabrication area of 50 mm × 50 mm can be achieved, and the maximum sliding speed of probes can be as high as 10 mm/s. Through locating steel micro balls into indents array, the preparation of multi-probe array can be realized by a simple and low-cost way. The cantilever was designed as a structure of deformable parallelogram with two beams, by which the fabrication force can be precisely controlled. Combining the friction-induced scanning with selective etching in KOH solution, various micro-patterns were fabricated on Si(100) surface without any masks or exposure. As a low-cost and high efficiency fabrication device, the multi-probe micro-fabrication apparatus may encourage the development of friction-induced fabrication method and shed new light on the texture engineering.

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Response surface regression analysis on FeCrBSi particle in-flight properties by plasma spray
Runbo MA,Lihong DONG,Haidou WANG,Shuying CHEN,Zhiguo XING
Front. Mech. Eng.    2016, 11 (3): 250-257.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-016-0401-2
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This work discusses the interactive effects between every two of argon flow rate, voltage, and spray distance on in-flight particles by plasma spray and constructs models that can be used in predicting and analyzing average velocity and temperature. Results of the response surface methodology show that the interactive effects between voltage and spray distance on particle in-flight properties are significant. For a given argon flow rate, particle velocity and temperature response surface are obviously bending, and a saddle point exists. With an increase in spray distance, the interactive effects between voltage and argon flow rate on particle in-flight properties appear gradually and then weaken. With an increase in voltage, the interactive effects between spray distance and argon flow rate on particle in-flight properties change from appearing to strengthening and then to weakening.

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EEG controlled neuromuscular electrical stimulation of the upper limb for stroke patients
Hock Guan TAN, Cheng Yap SHEE, Keng He KONG, Cuntai GUAN, Wei Tech ANG
Front Mech Eng    2011, 6 (1): 71-81.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-011-0207-1
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This paper describes the Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system and the experiments to allow post-acute (<3 months) stroke patients to use electroencephalogram (EEG) to trigger neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)-assisted extension of the wrist/fingers, which are essential pre-requisites for useful hand function. EEG was recorded while subjects performed motor imagery of their paretic limb, and then analyzed to determine the optimal frequency range within the mu-rhythm, with the greatest attenuation. Aided by visual feedback, subjects then trained to regulate their mu-rhythm EEG to operate the BCI to trigger NMES of the wrist/finger. 6 post-acute stroke patients successfully completed the training, with 4 able to learn to control and use the BCI to initiate NMES. This result is consistent with the reported BCI literacy rate of healthy subjects. Thereafter, without the loss of generality, the controller of the NMES is developed and is based on a model of the upper limb muscle (biceps/triceps) groups to determine the intensity of NMES required to flex or extend the forearm by a specific angle. The muscle model is based on a phenomenological approach, with parameters that are easily measured and conveniently implemented.

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Analysis of planetary gear transmission in non-stationary operations
Fakher CHAARI, Mohamed Slim ABBES, Fernando Viadero RUEDA, Alfonso Fernandez del RINCON, Mohamed HADDAR
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (1): 88-94.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0361-8
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Planetary gearboxes operate usually in non-stationary conditions generated mainly by variable loads applied to these transmissions. In order to understand the dynamic behavior of planetary gearboxes in such conditions, a mathematic model is developed including driving unit, transmission and load. The variability of load induces a variable speed of the transmission which is taken into account when characterizing the main dynamic parameter of the transmission which is the mesh stiffness function. This function is not periodic following the variability of the transmission speed. The computation of the dynamic response shows an intimate relation between the vibration amplitude level and the load value. As the load increase the vibration level increase. A combined amplitude and frequency modulation is observed which is well characterized using Short Time Fourier transform more suited than the spectral analysis.

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A comprehensive analysis of a 3-P (Pa) S spatial parallel manipulator
Yuzhe LIU,Liping WANG,Jun WU,Jinsong WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2015, 10 (1): 7-19.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-015-0324-3
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In this paper, a novel 3-degree of freedom (3-DOF) spatial parallel kinematic machine (PKM) is analyzed. The manipulator owns three main motions (two rotations and one translation) and three concomitant motions (one rotation and two translations). At first, the structure of this spatial PKM is simplified according to the characteristic of each limb. Secondly, the kinematics model of this spatial PKM is set up. In addition, the relationship between the main motions and concomitant motions is studied. The workspaces respectively based on the outputs and inputs are derived and analyzed. Furthermore, the velocity model is put forward. Two indexes based on the velocity model are employed to investigate the performance of this spatial PKM. At last, the output error model can be obtained and simulated. The comprehensive kinematics analysis in this paper is greatly useful for the future applications of this spatial PKM.

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Planet position errors in planetary transmission: Effect on load sharing and transmission error
Miguel IGLESIAS, Alfonso FERNáNDEZ, Ana DE-JUAN, Ramón SANCIBRIáN, Pablo GARCíA
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (1): 80-87.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0362-7
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In this paper an advanced model of spur gear transmissions developed by the authors is used to study the influence of carrier planet pin hole position errors on the behaviour of the transmission. The model, initially conceived for external gear modeling, has been extended with internal meshing features, and thus increasing its capabilities to include planetary transmission modeling. The new features are presented, along with the summary of the model general approach. The parameters and characteristics of the planetary transmission used in the paper are introduced. The influence of carrier planet pin hole position errors on the planet load sharing is studied, and several static cases are given as examples in order to show the ability of the model. Tangential and radial planet pin hole position errors are considered independently, and the effect of the load level is also taken into account. It is also given attention to the effect on the transmission error of the transmission. Two different configurations for the planetary transmission are used, attending to the fixed or floating condition of the sun, and the differences in terms of load sharing ratio are shown.

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Self-propelled automatic chassis of Lunokhod-1: History of creation in episodes
Mikhail MALENKOV
Front. Mech. Eng.    2016, 11 (1): 60-86.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-016-0370-5
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This report reviews the most important episodes in the history of designing the self-propelled automatic chassis of the first mobile extraterrestrial vehicle in the world, Lunokhod-1. The review considers the issues in designing moon rovers, their essential features, and the particular construction properties of their systems, mechanisms, units, and assemblies. It presents the results of exploiting the chassis of Lunokhod-1 and Lunokhod-2. Analysis of the approaches utilized and engineering solutions reveals their value as well as the consequences of certain defects.

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XFEM schemes for level set based structural optimization
Li LI, Michael Yu WANG, Peng WEI
Front Mech Eng    2012, 7 (4): 335-356.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-012-0351-2
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1969KB)

In this paper, some elegant extended finite element method (XFEM) schemes for level set method structural optimization are proposed. Firstly, two- dimension (2D) and three-dimension (3D) XFEM schemes with partition integral method are developed and numerical examples are employed to evaluate their accuracy, which indicate that an accurate analysis result can be obtained on the structural boundary. Furthermore, the methods for improving the computational accuracy and efficiency of XFEM are studied, which include the XFEM integral scheme without quadrature sub-cells and higher order element XFEM scheme. Numerical examples show that the XFEM scheme without quadrature sub-cells can yield similar accuracy of structural analysis while prominently reducing the time cost and that higher order XFEM elements can improve the computational accuracy of structural analysis in the boundary elements, but the time cost is increasing. Therefore, the balance of time cost between FE system scale and the order of element needs to be discussed. Finally, the reliability and advantages of the proposed XFEM schemes are illustrated with several 2D and 3D mean compliance minimization examples that are widely used in the recent literature of structural topology optimization. All numerical results demonstrate that the proposed XFEM is a promising structural analysis approach for structural optimization with the level set method.

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An experimental analysis of human straight walking
Tao LI, Marco CECCARELLI
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (1): 95-103.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0357-4
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In this paper, an experimental analysis of human straight walking has been presented. Experiments on human walking were carried out by using Cassino tracking system which is a passive cable-based measuring system. This system is adopted because it is capable of both pose and wrench measurements with fairly simple monitoring of operation. By using experimental results, trajectories of a human limb extremity and its posture have been analyzed; forces that are exerted against cables by the limb of a person under test have been measured by force sensors as well. Furthermore, by using experimental tests, modeling and characterization of the human straight walking gait have been proposed.

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Kinematic, workspace and singularity analysis of a new parallel robot used in minimally invasive surgery
Alin STOICA, Doina PISLA, Szilaghyi ANDRAS, Bogdan GHERMAN, Bela-Zoltan GYURKA, Nicolae PLITEA
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (1): 70-79.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0365-4
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In the last ten years, due to development in robotic assisted surgery, the minimally invasive surgery has greatly changed. Until now, the vast majority of robots used in surgery, have serial structures. Due to the orientation parallel module, the structure is able to reduce the pressure exerted on the entrance point in the patient’s abdominal wall. The parallel robot can also handle both a laparoscope as well an active instrument for different surgical procedures. The advantage of this parallel structure is that the geometric model has been obtained through an analytical approach. The kinematic modelling of a new parallel architecture, the inverse and direct geometric model and the inverse and direct kinematic models for velocities and accelerations are being determined. The paper will demonstrate that with this parallel structure, one can obtain the necessary workspace required for a minimally invasive operation. The robot workspace was generated using the inverse geometric model. An in-depth study of different types of singularity is performed, allowing the development of safe control algorithms of the experimental model. Some kinematic simulation results and the experimental model of the robot are presented in the paper.

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On the improvement design of dynamic characteristics for the roller follower of a variable-speed plate cam mechanism
Hui Ching FAN, Hong Sen YAN
Front Mech Eng    2012, 7 (1): 5-15.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-012-0310-y
Abstract   HTML   PDF (604KB)

Without modifying the cam contour, a cam mechanism with a variable input speed trajectory offers an alternative solution to flexibly achieve kinematic and dynamic characteristics, and then decrease the follower’s residual vibration. Firstly, the speed trajectory of cam is derived by employing Bezier curve, and motion continuity conditions are investigated. Then the motion characteristics between the plate cam and its roller follower are derived. To analyze the residual vibration, a single degree of freedom dynamic model of the elastic cam-follower system is introduced. Based on the motion equation derived from the dynamic model, the residual vibration of the follower is yielded. The design procedure to improve the kinematic and dynamic motion characteristics is presented and two design examples with discussions are provided. Finally, the simulations of the kinematic and dynamic models by ADAMS are carried out and verified that the design models as well as the performances of the mechanism are feasible.

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A rolling 3-UPU parallel mechanism
Zhihuai MIAO, Yan’an YAO, Xianwen KONG
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (4): 340-349.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0282-6
Abstract   HTML   PDF (877KB)

A novel rolling mechanism is proposed based on a 3-UPU parallel mechanism in this paper. The rolling mechanism is composed of two platforms connected by three UPU (universal-prismatic-universal) serial-chain type limbs. The degree-of-freedom of the mechanism is analyzed using screw theory. Gait analysis and stability analysis are presented in detail. Four rolling modes of the mechanism are discussed and simulated. The feasibility of the rolling mechanism is verified by means of a physical prototype. Finally, its terrain adaptability is enhanced through planning the rolling gaits.

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Frequencies of circular plate with concentric ring and elastic edge support
Lokavarapu Bhaskara RAO,Chellapilla Kameswara RAO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2014, 9 (2): 168-176.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-014-0299-5
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Exact solutions for the flexural vibrations of circular plates having elastic edge conditions along with rigid concentric ring support have been presented in this paper. Values of frequency parameter for the considered circular plate are computed for different sets of values of elastic rotational and translation restraints and the radius of internal rigid ring support. The results for the first three modes of plate vibrations are computed and are presented in tabular form. The effects of rotational and linear restraints and the radius of the rigid ring support on the vibration behavior of circular plates are studied over a wide range of non-dimensional parametric values. The values of the exact frequency parameter presented in this paper for varying values of restraint parameters and the radius of the rigid ring support can better serve in design and as benchmark solutions to validate the numerical methods obtained by using other methods of solution.

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Planar jumping with stable landing through foot orientation design and ankle joint control
Qilong YUAN, I-Ming CHEN
Front Mech Eng    2012, 7 (2): 100-108.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-012-0318-3
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This paper introduces a method to generate the planar jumping motion for biped robot. In this work, through determining the upper body posture trajectory in the flight phase, the foot landing posture is made to be flat while landing. Together with properly designing the trajectory for local center of gravity and the foot landing velocity, the soft landing trajectory is generated. A controller on the ankle joint is added to avoid significant impact with the ground and stabilize the robot after landing. Jumping motion with stable landing is achieved in a dynamic simulation environment based on this method.

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Solving nonlinear differential equations of Vanderpol, Rayleigh and Duffing by AGM
M. R. AKBARI,D. D. GANJI,A. MAJIDIAN,A. R. AHMADI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2014, 9 (2): 177-190.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-014-0288-8
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In the present paper, three complicated nonlinear differential equations in the field of vibration, which are Vanderpol, Rayleigh and Duffing equations, have been analyzed and solved completely by Algebraic Method (AGM). Investigating this kind of equations is a very hard task to do and the obtained solution is not accurate and reliable. This issue will be emerged after comparing the achieved solutions by numerical method (Runge-Kutte 4th). Based on the comparisons which have been made between the gained solutions by AGM and numerical method, it is possible to indicate that AGM can be successfully applied for various differential equations particularly for difficult ones. The results reveal that this method is not only very effective and simple, but also reliable, and can be applied for other complicated nonlinear problems.

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Tool wear mechanisms in the machining of Nickel based super-alloys: A review
Waseem AKHTAR,Jianfei SUN,Pengfei SUN,Wuyi CHEN,Zawar SALEEM
Front. Mech. Eng.    2014, 9 (2): 106-119.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-014-0301-2
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Nickel based super-alloys are widely employed in aircraft engines and gas turbines due to their high temperature strength, corrosion resistance and, excellent thermal fatigue properties. Conversely, these alloys are very difficult to machine and cause rapid wear of the cutting tool, frequent tool changes are thus required resulting in low economy of the machining process. This study provides a detailed review of the tool wear mechanism in the machining of nickel based super-alloys. Typical tool wear mechanisms found by different researchers are analyzed in order to find out the most prevalent wear mechanism affecting the tool life. The review of existing works has revealed interesting findings about the tool wear mechanisms in the machining of these alloys. Adhesion wear is found to be the main phenomenon leading to the cutting tool wear in this study.

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Dynamic characteristics of a magnetorheological pin joint for civil structures
Yancheng LI,Jianchun LI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2014, 9 (1): 15-33.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-014-0283-0
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Magnetorheological (MR) pin joint is a novel device in which its joint moment resistance can be controlled in real-time by altering the applied magnetic field. The smart pin joint is intended to be used as a controllable connector between the columns and beams of a civil structure to instantaneously shift the structural natural frequencies in order to avoid resonance and therefore to reduce unwanted vibrations and hence prevent structural damage. As an intrinsically nonlinear device, modelling of this MR fluid based device is a challenging task and makes the design of a suitable control algorithm a cumbersome situation. Aimed at its application in civil structure, the main purpose of this paper is to test and characterise the hysteretic behaviour of MR pin joint. A test scheme is designed to obtain the dynamic performance of MR pin joint in the dominant earthquake frequency range. Some unique phenomena different from those of MR damper are observed through the experimental testing. A computationally-efficient model is proposed by introducing a hyperbolic element to accurately reproduce its dynamic behaviour and to further facilitate the design of a suitable control algorithm. Comprehensive investigations on the model accuracy and dependences of the proposed model on loading condition (frequency and amplitude) and input current level are reported in the last section of this paper.

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Investigation on drilling-grinding of CFRP
Yanming QUAN, Wenwang ZHONG
Front Mech Eng Chin    2009, 4 (1): 60-63.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-009-0008-y
Abstract   HTML   PDF (168KB)

It is difficult to machine polymer matrix composites reinforced by carbon fibre, and the hole-making process is the most necessary machining process for composite plate products. Conventional drills have a very short life in the drilling of this kind of composites and the quality of the hole is very poor. In this paper, the cemented or plated diamond core tools are tested to make holes in carbon fibre/epoxy composite plates. The effects of machining parameters, cooling and chip removal on the tool life, and the hole quality are investigated. Results indicate that the material removal mechanism of the two kinds of diamond tools is not like the cutting effect of the conventional solid twist drilling but similar to that of grinding. Satisfactory effects in making holes in the composites are obtained— quite acceptable machined hole quality, low costs, and long wear-resistant endurance.

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Recent developments in passive interconnected vehicle suspension
Wade A. SMITH, Nong ZHANG,
Front. Mech. Eng.    2010, 5 (1): 1-18.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-009-0092-z
Abstract   PDF (636KB)
This paper presents an overall review on the historical concept development and research advancement of passive hydraulically interconnected suspension (HIS) systems. It starts with an introduction to passive HIS systems and their various incarnations developed over many decades. Next, a description is provided of a recently proposed multidisciplinary approach for the frequency-domain analysis of vehicles fitted with an HIS. The experimental validation and applications of the method to both free and forced vibration analysis are discussed based on a simplified, roll-plane half-car model. A finite-element-method-based approddach for modelling the transient dynamics of an HIS vehicle is also briefly outlined. In addition, recent work on the investigation of NVH associated with HIS-equipped vehicles is mentioned. Discussion is then provided on future work to the further understanding of HIS and its applications. The paper concludes that interconnected suspension schemes can provide much greater flexibility to independently specify modal stiffness and damping parameters &#8211; a characteristic unique among passive suspensions. It points out that there is a need for system optimisation, and there are troublesome NVH issues that require solutions. It suggests that further research attention and effort be paid to NVH issues and system level optimisation to gain a greater understanding of HIS and to broaden its applications.
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Self-motions of 3-RPS manipulators
Josef SCHADLBAUER, Manfred L. HUSTY, Stéphane CARO, Philippe WENGERY
Front Mech Eng    2013, 8 (1): 62-69.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0366-3
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Recently a complete kinematic description of the 3-RPS parallel manipulator was obtained using algebraic constraint equations. It turned out that the workspace splits into two components describing two kinematically different operation modes. In this paper the algebraic description is used to give a complete analysis of all possible self-motions of this manipulator in both operation modes. Furthermore it is shown that a transition from one operation mode into the other in a self-motion is possible.

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Digital monitoring and health diagnosis for mechanical equipment operation safety based on fiber Bragg grating sensor
Zude ZHOU, Desheng JIANG, Quan LIU
Front Mech Eng Chin    2009, 4 (1): 5-14.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-009-0011-3
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This paper introduces fiber Bragg grating (FBG) based on a fiber optic grating sensor developed to be embedded on mechanical equipment for digital monitoring and health diagnosis. The theoretical and experimental researches on the new-style FBG sensor (FBGS) technology, high-speed demodulation, and data transmission are discussed. The transmission characteristics between the FBG and the detection interface, modeling and compensation method for online distributed multi-parameter digital monitoring and methods for data processing, synchronous sampling, and long-term dynamic digital monitoring using embedded technology are also presented. The acquired information by an FBGS can be used for the optimization of maintenance schedules and refinement of mechanical equipment design. It is a challenge to gather real-time data from components working at high speed and in a severe environment of high temperature, high pressure, and high rotation speed. Currently, there are no sensors or technologies available for digital monitoring and health diagnosis under this rigorous situation for use in mechanical engineering operation safety. As a result, this paper introduces an online distributed and integrated digital monitoring system and health diagnosis. The new principle and new method will contribute to modern measurements in science and technology, mechanical engineering, and large mechanical equipment operation safety.

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Geometrically constrained isogeometric parameterized level-set based topology optimization via trimmed elements
Yingjun WANG,David J. BENSON
Front. Mech. Eng.    2016, 11 (4): 328-343.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-016-0403-0
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In this paper, an approach based on the fast point-in-polygon (PIP) algorithm and trimmed elements is proposed for isogeometric topology optimization (TO) with arbitrary geometric constraints. The isogeometric parameterized level-set-based TO method, which directly uses the non-uniform rational basis splines (NURBS) for both level set function (LSF) parameterization and objective function calculation, provides higher accuracy and efficiency than previous methods. The integration of trimmed elements is completed by the efficient quadrature rule that can design the quadrature points and weights for arbitrary geometric shape. Numerical examples demonstrate the efficiency and flexibility of the method.

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Design approach for single piston hydraulic free piston diesel engines
Wei WU, Shihua YUAN, Jibin HU, Chongbo JING,
Front. Mech. Eng.    2009, 4 (4): 371-378.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-009-0069-y
Abstract   PDF (286KB)
The operating characteristics of a single piston hydraulic free piston diesel engine differ significantly from conventional diesel engines and this provides a theoretical basis for controlling and optimizing the design of the engine. The design of the proposed engine intended as a power supply for a hydraulic propulsion vehicle is presented. An engine performance forecast model was generated in AMESim. The performance of the prototype engine is predicted and the predictive results are verified with experiments. The particular features of the engine are discussed. The dynamic characteristics of the prototype engine are analyzed and the results indicate the rationality and feasibility of the engine design parameters. The features of the controllable working frequency and the intermittence output flows are provided. The flow capacity characteristics of the hydraulic valves on the prototype engine are offered. The methods for starting and the operation after misfire are presented.
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Current research, key performances and future development of search and rescue robots
LIU Jinguo, WANG Yuechao, LI Bin, MA Shugen
Front. Mech. Eng.    2007, 2 (4): 404-416.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-007-0070-2
Abstract   PDF (861KB)
Frequent natural disasters and man-made catastrophes have threatened the safety of citizens and have attracted much more attention. The rescue mission under disaster environment is very complicated and dangerous for a rescue team. Search and rescue (SAR) robots can not only improve the efficiency of rescue operations but also reduce the casualty of rescuers. Robots can help rescue teams and even replace rescuers to perform dangerous missions. Search and rescue robots will play a more and more important role in the rescue operations. A survey of the research status of search and rescue robots in Japan, USA, China and other countries has been provided. According to current research, experiences and the lessons learned from applications, the five key performances of a search and rescue robot are survivability, mobility, sensing, communicability and operability. Multi-technique fusion and multi-agent intelligent network are considered to be requirements for the future development of the search and rescue robot. Disaster prevention, disaster reduction and disaster rescue are the important parts of national public safety. They are also crucial for the safety of citizens and their estates. Search and rescue robotic technique is an urgent needed, strategic and core technique for national development. It will be important and strategic for national economy and safety.
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Structural health monitoring with fiber optic sensors
F. ANSARI
Front Mech Eng Chin    2009, 4 (2): 103-110.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-009-0032-y
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Optical fiber sensors have been successfully implemented in aeronautics, mechanical systems, and medical applications. Civil structures pose further challenges in monitoring mainly due to their large dimensions, diversity and heterogeneity of materials involved, and hostile construction environment. This article provides a summary of basic principles pertaining to practical health monitoring of civil engineering structures with optical fiber sensors. The issues discussed include basic sensor principles, strain transfer mechanism, sensor packaging, sensor placement in construction environment, and reliability and survivability of the sensors.

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Mechanism of self-excited torsional vibration of locomotive driving system
Jianxin LIU, Huaiyun ZHAO, Wanming ZHAI
Front Mech Eng Chin    2010, 5 (4): 465-469.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-010-0115-9
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A single wheelset drive model and 2-DOFs torsional vibration model were established to investigate the self-excited torsional vibration of a locomotive driving system. The simulation results indicate that the self-excited torsional vibration occurs when the steady slip velocity is located at the descending slope of the adhesion coefficient curve. The principle of energy conservation was used to analyze the mechanism of the self-excited vibration. The factors affecting on the amplitude of the self-excited vibration are studied.

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