Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

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Smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0: Conceptual framework, scenarios, and future perspectives
Pai ZHENG, Honghui WANG, Zhiqian SANG, Ray Y. ZHONG, Yongkui LIU, Chao LIU, Khamdi MUBAROK, Shiqiang YU, Xun XU
Front. Mech. Eng..  2018, 13 (2): 137-150.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (652KB)

Information and communication technology is undergoing rapid development, and many disruptive technologies, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, big data, and artificial intelligence, have emerged. These technologies are permeating the manufacturing industry and enable the fusion of physical and virtual worlds through cyber-physical systems (CPS), which mark the advent of the fourth stage of industrial production (i.e., Industry 4.0). The widespread application of CPS in manufacturing environments renders manufacturing systems increasingly smart. To advance research on the implementation of Industry 4.0, this study examines smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0. First, a conceptual framework of smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0 is presented. Second, demonstrative scenarios that pertain to smart design, smart machining, smart control, smart monitoring, and smart scheduling, are presented. Key technologies and their possible applications to Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing systems are reviewed based on these demonstrative scenarios. Finally, challenges and future perspectives are identified and discussed.

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Offline motion planning and simulation of two-robot welding coordination
Front Mech Eng.  2012, 7 (1): 81-92.
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This paper focuses on the two-robot welding coordination of complex curve seam which means one robot grasp the workpiece, the other hold the torch, the two robots work on the same workpiece simultaneously. This paper builds the dual-robot coordinate system at the beginning, and three point calibration method of two robots’ relative base coordinate system is presented. After that, the non master/slave scheme is chosen for the motion planning, the non master/slave scheme sets the poses versus time function of the point u on the workpiece, and calculates the two robot end effecter trajectories through the constrained relationship matrix automatically. Moreover, downhand welding is employed which can guarantee the torch and the seam keep in good contact condition all the time during the welding. Finally, a Solidworks-SimMechanics simulation platform is established, and a simulation of curved steel pipe welding is conducted. The results of the simulation illustrate the welding process can meet the requirements of downhand welding, the joint displacement curves are smooth and continuous and no joint velocities are out of working scope.

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General expression for linear and nonlinear time series models
Ren HUANG, Feiyun XU, Ruwen CHEN
Front Mech Eng Chin.  2009, 4 (1): 15-24.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (550KB)

The typical time series models such as ARMA, AR, and MA are founded on the normality and stationarity of a system and expressed by a linear difference equation; therefore, they are strictly limited to the linear system. However, some nonlinear factors are within the practical system; thus, it is difficult to fit the model for real systems with the above models. This paper proposes a general expression for linear and nonlinear auto-regressive time series models (GNAR). With the gradient optimization method and modified AIC information criteria integrated with the prediction error, the parameter estimation and order determination are achieved. The model simulation and experiments show that the GNAR model can accurately approximate to the dynamic characteristics of the most nonlinear models applied in academics and engineering. The modeling and prediction accuracy of the GNAR model is superior to the classical time series models. The proposed GNAR model is flexible and effective.

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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.
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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Atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing—A trend in manufacturing development
Fengzhou FANG
Front. Mech. Eng..  2016, 11 (4): 325-327.
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Manufacturing is the foundation of a nation’s economy. It is the primary industry to promote economic and social development. To accelerate and upgrade China’s manufacturing sector from “precision manufacturing” to “high-performance and high-quality manufacturing”, a new breakthrough should be found in terms of achieving a “leap-frog development”. Unlike conventional manufacturing, the fundamental theory of “Manufacturing 3.0” is beyond the scope of conventional theory; rather, it is based on new principles and theories at the atomic and/or close-to-atomic scale. Obtaining a dominant role at the international level is a strategic move for China’s progress.

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The main achievements in the past 24 years and the prospects of mechanism research in China
ZOU Hui-jun, ZHANG Long, ZHANG Qing
Front. Mech. Eng..  2006, 1 (3): 249-259.
Abstract   PDF (342KB)
Since 1982, the symposiums on mechanism in China has been held fifteen times. In the past 24 years, Chinese mechanism has experienced a phenomenal development. Generally, fundamental research on traditional mechanisms is enhanced; mechanism and creative design of products are closely combined; modern mechanism with advanced and new technology is opened up; and mechanism is promoted to modernization. These are manifested in the following aspects: theory research on analysis and synthesis of traditional mechanism is deeply developed; computer-aided design on mechanisms is realized vigorously; conceptual design of mechanism system and mechanical products is energetically pushed; research on robot mechanisms and its industrial application is deeply developed; research on analysis and synthesis of controllable mechanisms and compliant mechanisms are energetically carried out; research on the dynamics of mechanisms and machines is vigorously developed; and reformation of teaching contents and system of mechanism is energetically carried out. Through the above-mentioned aspects of theory research and practical application, the theoretical and academic levels of Chinese mechanism can be considered at the advanced international level. However, there are not many original and breakthrough research achievements of fundamental research in China. In the meantime, there is a larger gap in the aspect of practical application of mechanism in the country compared with advanced countries in the world.
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Study on tribological and electrochemistry properties of metal materials in H2O2 solutions
Chengqing YUAN, Li YU, Jian LI, Xinping YAN
Front Mech Eng.  2012, 7 (1): 93-98.
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Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a kind of ideal green propellant. It is crucial to study the wear behavior and failure modes of the metal materials under the strong oxidizing environment of H2O2. This study aims to investigate the wear of rubbing pairs of 2Cr13 stainless steel against 1045 metal in H2O2 solutions, which has a great effect on wear, the decomposition and damage mechanism of materials. The comparison analysis of the friction coefficients, wear mass loss, worn surface topographies and current densities was conducted under different concentrations of H2O2 solutions. There were significant differences in the tribological and electrochemistry properties of the rubbing pairs in different H2O2 solutions.

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Reconfigurable manufacturing systems: Principles, design, and future trends
Yoram KOREN, Xi GU, Weihong GUO
Front. Mech. Eng..  2018, 13 (2): 121-136.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (449KB)

Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs), which possess the advantages of both dedicated serial lines and flexible manufacturing systems, were introduced in the mid-1990s to address the challenges initiated by globalization. The principal goal of an RMS is to enhance the responsiveness of manufacturing systems to unforeseen changes in product demand. RMSs are cost-effective because they boost productivity, and increase the lifetime of the manufacturing system. Because of the many streams in which a product may be produced on an RMS, maintaining product precision in an RMS is a challenge. But the experience with RMS in the last 20 years indicates that product quality can be definitely maintained by inserting in-line inspection stations. In this paper, we formulate the design and operational principles for RMSs, and provide a state-of-the-art review of the design and operations methodologies of RMSs according to these principles. Finally, we propose future research directions, and deliberate on how recent intelligent manufacturing technologies may advance the design and operations of RMSs.

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A systematic review of current and emergent manipulator control approaches
Syed Ali AJWAD,Jamshed IQBAL,Muhammad Imran ULLAH,Adeel MEHMOOD
Front. Mech. Eng..  2015, 10 (2): 198-210.
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Pressing demands of productivity and accuracy in today’s robotic applications have highlighted an urge to replace classical control strategies with their modern control counterparts. This recent trend is further justified by the fact that the robotic manipulators have complex nonlinear dynamic structure with uncertain parameters. Highlighting the authors’ research achievements in the domain of manipulator design and control, this paper presents a systematic and comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art control techniques that find enormous potential in controlling manipulators to execute cutting-edge applications. In particular, three kinds of strategies, i.e., intelligent proportional-integral-derivative (PID) scheme, robust control and adaptation based approaches, are reviewed. Future trend in the subject area is commented. Open-source simulators to facilitate controller design are also tabulated. With a comprehensive list of references, it is anticipated that the review will act as a first-hand reference for researchers, engineers and industrial-interns to realize the control laws for multi-degree of freedom (DOF) manipulators.

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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.
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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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Creative design inspired by biological knowledge: Technologies and methods
Runhua TAN, Wei LIU, Guozhong CAO, Yuan SHI
Front. Mech. Eng..  2019, 14 (1): 1-14.
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Biological knowledge is becoming an important source of inspiration for developing creative solutions to engineering design problems and even has a huge potential in formulating ideas that can help firms compete successfully in a dynamic market. To identify the technologies and methods that can facilitate the development of biologically inspired creative designs, this research briefly reviews the existing biological-knowledge-based theories and methods and examines the application of biological-knowledge-inspired designs in various fields. Afterward, this research thoroughly examines the four dimensions of key technologies that underlie the biologically inspired design (BID) process. This research then discusses the future development trends of the BID process before presenting the conclusions.

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Additive manufacturing: technology, applications and research needs
Nannan GUO, Ming C. LEU
Front Mech Eng.  2013, 8 (3): 215-243.
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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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Review of the crushing response of collapsible tubular structures
Vivek PATEL, Gaurav TIWARI, Ravikumar DUMPALA
Front. Mech. Eng..  2020, 15 (3): 438-474.
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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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Digital switched hydraulics
Front. Mech. Eng..  2018, 13 (2): 225-231.
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This paper reviews recent developments in digital switched hydraulics particularly the switched inertance hydraulic systems (SIHSs). The performance of SIHSs is presented in brief with a discussion of several possible configurations and control strategies. The soft switching technology and high-speed switching valve design techniques are discussed. Challenges and recommendations are given based on the current research achievements.

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Review of materials used in laser-aided additive manufacturing processes to produce metallic products
Xiaodong NIU, Surinder SINGH, Akhil GARG, Harpreet SINGH, Biranchi PANDA, Xiongbin PENG, Qiujuan ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng..  2019, 14 (3): 282-298.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (521KB)

Rapid prototyping (RP) or layered manufacturing (LM) technologies have been extensively used to manufacture prototypes composed mainly of plastics, polymers, paper, and wax due to the short product development time and low costs of these technologies. However, such technologies, with the exception of selective laser melting and sintering, are not used to fabricate metallic products because of the resulting poor life, short cycle, poor surface finish, and low structural integrity of the fabricated parts. The properties endowed by these parts do not match those of functional parts. Therefore, extensive research has been conducted to develop new additive manufacturing (AM) technologies by extending existing RP technologies. Several AM technologies have been developed for the fabrication of metallic objects. These technologies utilize materials, such as Ni-, Al-, and Ti-based alloys and stainless steel powders, to fabricate high-quality functional components. The present work reviews the type of materials used in laser-based AM processes for the manufacture of metallic products. The advantages and disadvantages of processes and different materials are summarized, and future research directions are discussed in the final section. This review can help experts select the ideal type of process or technology for the manufacturing of elements composed of a given alloy or material (Ni, Ti, Al, Pb, and stainless steel).

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Effects of environmental media on the transmission of an inductive link in wireless microsystems
Lei DONG, Li-Feng WANG, Qing-An HUANG
Front. Mech. Eng..  2017, 12 (4): 554-556.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (157KB)

An inductive link between two magnetically coupled coils in wireless microsystems is modeled by considering an additional parasitic capacitive link to describe the effect of environmental media. With a system of inductor-capacitor passive wireless sensors, the effects of environmental media are studied theoretically and experimentally for the first time. Results suggest that the capacitive link is non-negligible when the distance between the two coupled coils is comparable with the coupling area, particularly when the environmental medium has a large dielectric constant.

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System and prospects of China’s intercity rail transit technology
Front. Mech. Eng..  2018, 13 (2): 323-328.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (76KB)

City clusters and metropolitan areas in China are flourishing in the midst of the deepening urbanization in the country, thereby resulting in the emergence of intercity rail transit. Intercity railways connect mainline and urban railways for an integrated regional transportation system that underpins and leads the development of city clusters and metropolitan areas. This study explores the development mode and service characteristics of intercity rail transit, as well as proposes overviews on this system and prospects of its future technology in China.

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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.
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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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Design and locomotion analysis of two kinds of rolling expandable mobile linkages with a single degree of freedom
Yanlin HAO, Yaobin TIAN, Jianxu WU, Yezhuo LI, Yan-An YAO
Front. Mech. Eng..  2020, 15 (3): 365-373.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (3108KB)

This study presents two kinds of rolling robots that are able to roll by deforming their outer shapes with a single degree of freedom. Each robot is an essential multi-loop planar expandable linkage constructed by a concave outer loop and several inner parallelogram loops. In this study, the mechanical design of the robots is introduced. Dynamic rolling process is further analyzed on the basis of zero moment point method, and a morphing strategy is proposed to guarantee a stable dynamic rolling process. A novel passive rolling locomotion is also developed, which enables the robots to roll and stand on a slope. To verify the design, two prototypes are manufactured, wherein the dynamic and passive rolling locomotion are carried out.

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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.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (344KB)

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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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.
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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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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.
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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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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.
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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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Self-propelled automatic chassis of Lunokhod-1: History of creation in episodes
Front. Mech. Eng..  2016, 11 (1): 60-86.
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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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A novel six-legged walking machine tool for in-situ operations
Jimu LIU, Yuan TIAN, Feng GAO
Front. Mech. Eng..  2020, 15 (3): 351-364.
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The manufacture and maintenance of large parts in ships, trains, aircrafts, and so on create an increasing demand for mobile machine tools to perform in-situ operations. However, few mobile robots can accommodate the complex environment of industrial plants while performing machining tasks. This study proposes a novel six-legged walking machine tool consisting of a legged mobile robot and a portable parallel kinematic machine tool. The kinematic model of the entire system is presented, and the workspace of different components, including a leg, the body, and the head, is analyzed. A hierarchical motion planning scheme is proposed to take advantage of the large workspace of the legged mobile platform and the high precision of the parallel machine tool. The repeatability of the head motion, body motion, and walking distance is evaluated through experiments, which is 0.11, 1.0, and 3.4 mm, respectively. Finally, an application scenario is shown in which the walking machine tool steps successfully over a 250 mm-high obstacle and drills a hole in an aluminum plate. The experiments prove the rationality of the hierarchical motion planning scheme and demonstrate the extensive potential of the walking machine tool for in-situ operations on large parts.

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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.
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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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Planet position errors in planetary transmission: Effect on load sharing and transmission error
Front Mech Eng.  2013, 8 (1): 80-87.
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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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XFEM schemes for level set based structural optimization
Li LI, Michael Yu WANG, Peng WEI
Front Mech Eng.  2012, 7 (4): 335-356.
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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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Gripping mechanisms in current wood harvesting machines
Front Mech Eng.  2013, 8 (1): 42-61.
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This paper focuses on the structural synthesis of gripping mechanisms used in the mechanization of the harvesting process. The importance of the gripping function in current devices like harvesting heads is underlined. This function is performed with several typical mechanisms which are listed and described in this article. This study distinguishes two kinds of planar gripping mechanisms mainly used in opening and closing the rollers: five concentric and two lateral ones. Both kinds have advantages and drawbacks. So a third kind of hybrid mechanism has been designed in order to orientate the axis of the rollers during gripping motion in order to combine concentric and lateral gripping advantages. Two planar and one spatial existing mechanisms are described. The last part of this paper presents a structural synthesis of such a spatial parallel mechanism by using the structural parameters and the general formulae established by the third author. Nine kinematic diagrams of spatial parallel mechanisms are provided.

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Multiscale model of micro curing residual stress evolution in carbon fiber-reinforced thermoset polymer composites
Xinyu HUI, Yingjie XU, Weihong ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng..  2020, 15 (3): 475-483.
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In this study, the micro curing residual stresses of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoset polymer (CFRP) composites are evaluated using a multiscale modeling method. A thermochemical coupling model is developed at the macroscale level to obtain the distributions of temperature and degree of cure. Meanwhile, a representative volume element model of the composites is established at the microscale level. By introducing the information from the macroscale perspective, the curing residual stresses are calculated using the microscale model. The evolution of curing residual stresses reveals the interaction mechanism of fiber, matrix, and interphase period during the curing process. Results show that the curing residual stresses mostly present a tensile state in the matrix and a compressive state in the fiber. Furthermore, the curing residual stresses at different locations in the composites are calculated and discussed. Simulation results provide an important guideline for the analysis and design of CFRP composite structures.

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