Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

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Comprehensive analysis of the influence of structural and dynamic parameters on the accuracy of nano-precision positioning stages
Chengyuan LIANG, Fang YUAN, Xuedong CHEN, Wei JIANG, Lizhan ZENG, Xin LUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 255-272.
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Nano-precision positioning stages are characterized by rigid-flexible coupling systems. The complex dynamic characteristics of mechanical structure of a stage, which are determined by structural and dynamic parameters, exert a serious influence on the accuracy of its motion and measurement. Systematic evaluation of such influence is essential for the design and improvement of stages. A systematic approach to modeling the dynamic accuracy of a nano-precision positioning stage is developed in this work by integrating a multi-rigid-body dynamic model of the mechanical system and measurement system models. The influence of structural and dynamic parameters, including aerostatic bearing configurations, motion plane errors, foundation vibrations, and positions of the acting points of driving forces, on dynamic accuracy is investigated by adopting the H-type configured stage as an example. The approach is programmed and integrated into a software framework that supports the dynamic design of nano-precision positioning stages. The software framework is then applied to the design of a nano-precision positioning stage used in a packaging lithography machine.

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Towards a next-generation production system for industrial robots: A CPS-based hybrid architecture for smart assembly shop floors with closed-loop dynamic cyber physical interactions
Qingmeng TAN, Yifei TONG, Shaofeng WU, Dongbo LI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, 15 (1): 1-11.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (992KB)

Given the multiple varieties and small batches, the production of industrial robots faces the ongoing challenges of flexibility, self-organization, self-configuration, and other “smart” requirements. Recently, cyber physical systems have provided a promising solution for the requirements mentioned above. Despite recent progress, some critical issues have not been fully addressed at the shop floor level, including dynamic reorganization and reconfiguration, ubiquitous networking, and time constrained computing. Toward the next generation production system for industrial robots, this study proposed a hybrid architecture for smart assembly shop floors with closed-loop dynamic cyber physical interactions. Aiming for dynamic reorganization and reconfiguration, the study also proposed modularized smart assembly units for the deployment of physical assembly processes. Enabling technologies, such as multiagent system (MAS), self-organized wireless sensor actuator networks, and edge computing, were discussed and then integrated into the proposed architecture. Furthermore, a multijoint robot assembly process was selected as a target scenario. Thus, an MAS was developed to simulate the coordination and negotiation mechanisms for the proposed architecture on the basis of the Java Agent Development Framework platform.

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Progress in terahertz nondestructive testing: A review
Shuncong ZHONG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 273-281.
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Terahertz (THz) waves, whose frequencies range between microwave and infrared, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A gap exists in THz literature because investigating THz waves is difficult due to the weak characteristics of the waves and the lack of suitable THz sources and detectors. Recently, THz nondestructive testing (NDT) technology has become an interesting topic. This review outlines several typical THz devices and systems and engineering applications of THz NDT techniques in composite materials, thermal barrier coatings, car paint films, marine protective coatings, and pharmaceutical tablet coatings. THz imaging has higher resolution but lower penetration than ultrasound imaging. This review presents the significance and advantages provided by the emerging THz NDT technique.

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Creep-fatigue crack growth behavior in GH4169 superalloy
Dianyin HU, Xiyuan WANG, Jianxing MAO, Rongqiao WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 369-376.
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This study aims to examine the crack growth behavior of turbine disc GH4169 superalloy under creep-fatigue loading. Crack growth experiments were performed on compact tension specimens using trapezoidal waveform with dwell time at the maximum load at 650 °C. The crack growth rate of GH4169 superalloy significantly increased with dwell time. The grain boundaries oxidize during the dwell process, thereby inducing an intergranular creep-fatigue fracture mode. In addition, testing data under the same dwell time showed scattering at the crack growth rate. Consequently, a modified model based on the Saxena equation was proposed by introducing a distribution factor for the crack growth rate. Microstructural observation confirmed that the small grain size and high volume fraction of the d phase led to a fast creep-fatigue crack growth rate at 650 °C, thus indicating that two factors, namely, fine grain and presence of the d phase at the grain boundary, increased the amount of weakened interface at high temperature, in which intergranular cracks may form and propagate.

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Connected morphable components-based multiscale topology optimization
Jiadong DENG, Claus B. W. PEDERSEN, Wei CHEN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 129-140.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (3079KB)

The advances of manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing, have provided unprecedented opportunities for producing multiscale structures with intricate latticed/cellular material microstructures to meet the increasing demands for parts with customized functionalities. However, there are still difficulties for the state-of-the-art multiscale topology optimization (TO) methods to achieve manufacturable multiscale designs with cellular materials, partially due to the disconnectivity issue when tiling material microstructures. This paper attempts to address the disconnectivity issue by extending component-based TO methodology to multiscale structural design. An effective linkage scheme to guarantee smooth transitions between neighboring material microstructures (unit cells) is devised and investigated. Associated with the advantages of components-based TO, the number of design variables is greatly reduced in multiscale TO design. Homogenization is employed to calculate the effective material properties of the porous materials and to correlate the macro/structural scale with the micro/material scale. Sensitivities of the objective function with respect to the geometrical parameters of each component in each material microstructure have been derived using the adjoint method. Numerical examples demonstrate that multiscale structures with well-connected material microstructures or graded/layered material microstructures are realized.

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A naive optimization method for multi-line systems with alternative machines
Weichang KONG, Fei QIAO, Qidi WU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (4): 377-392.
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The scheduling of parallel machines and the optimization of multi-line systems are two hotspots in the field of complex manufacturing systems. When the two problems are considered simultaneously, the resulting problem is much more complex than either of them. Obtaining sufficient training data for conventional data-based optimization approaches is difficult because of the high diversity of system structures. Consequently, optimization of multi-line systems with alternative machines requires a simple mechanism and must be minimally dependent on historical data. To define a general multi-line system with alternative machines, this study introduces the capability vector and matrix and the distribution vector and matrix. A naive optimization method is proposed in accordance with classic feedback control theory, and its key approaches are introduced. When a reasonable target value is provided, the proposed method can realize closed-loop optimization to the selected objective performance. Case studies are performed on a real 5/6-inch semiconductor wafer manufacturing facility and a simulated multi-line system constructed on the basis of the MiniFAB model. Results show that the proposed method can effectively and efficiently optimize various objective performance. The method demonstrates a potential for utilization in multi-objective optimization.

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Damage mechanism and evaluation model of compressor impeller remanufacturing blanks: A review
Haiyang LU, Yanle LI, Fangyi LI, Xingyi ZHANG, Chuanwei ZHANG, Jiyu DU, Zhen LI, Xueju RAN, Jianfeng LI, Weiqiang WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (4): 402-411.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1157KB)

The theoretical and technological achievements in the damage mechanism and evaluation model obtained through the national basic research program “Key Fundamental Scientific Problems on Mechanical Equipment Remanufacturing” are reviewed in this work. Large centrifugal compressor impeller blanks were used as the study object. The materials of the blanks were FV520B and KMN. The mechanism and evaluation model of ultra-high cycle fatigue, erosion wear, and corrosion damage were studied via theoretical calculation, finite element simulation, and experimentation. For ultra-high cycle fatigue damage, the characteristics of ultra-high cycle fatigue of the impeller material were clarified, and prediction models of ultra-high cycle fatigue strength were established. A residual life evaluation technique based on the “b-HV-N” (where b was the nonlinear parameter, HV was the Vickers hardness, and N was the fatigue life) double criterion method was proposed. For erosion wear, the flow field of gas-solid two-phase flow inside the impeller was simulated, and the erosion wear law was clarified. Two models for erosion rate and erosion depth calculation were established. For corrosion damage, the electrochemical and stress corrosion behaviors of the impeller material and welded joints in H2S/CO2 environment were investigated. KISCC (critical stress intensity factor) and da/dt (crack growth rate, where a is the total crack length and t is time) varied with H2S concentration and temperature, and their variation laws were revealed. Through this research, the key scientific problems of the damage behavior and mechanism of remanufacturing objects in the multi-strength field and cross-scale were solved. The findings provide theoretical and evaluation model support for the analysis and evaluation of large centrifugal compressor impellers before remanufacturing.

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Finite element modeling of counter-roller spinning for large-sized aluminum alloy cylindrical parts
Dawei ZHANG, Fan LI, Shuaipeng LI, Shengdun ZHAO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 351-357.
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Counter-roller spinning (CRS), where the mandrel is replaced by rollers, is an effective means of manufacturing large-sized, thin-walled, cylindrical parts with more than 2500 mm diameter. CRS is very complex because of multi-axis rotation, multi-local loading along the circumference, and radial-axial compound deformation. Analytical or experimental methods cannot fully understand CRS. Meanwhile, numerical simulation is an adequate approach to investigate CRS with comprehensive understanding and a low cost. Thus, a finite element (FE) model of CRS was developed with the FORGE code via meshing technology, material modeling, determining the friction condition, and so on. The local fine mesh moving with the roller is one of highlights of the model. The developed 3D-FE model was validated through a CRS experiment by using a tubular blank with a 720 mm outer diameter. The developed 3D-FE model of CRS can provide a basis for parameter optimization, process control, die design, and so on. The data on force and energy predicted by the 3D-FE model can offer reasonable suggestions for determining the main mechanical parameters of CRS machines and selecting the motors. With the predicted data, an all-electric servo-drive system/machine with distributed power was designed in this work for CRS with four pairs of rollers to manufacture a large-sized, thin-walled, cylindrical part with 6000 mm diameter.

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Real-time task processing method based on edge computing for spinning CPS
Shiyong YIN, Jinsong BAO, Jie LI, Jie ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 320-331.
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Spinning production is a typical continuous manufacturing process characterized by high speed and uncertain dynamics. Each manufacturing unit in spinning production produces various real-time tasks, which may affect production efficiency and yarn quality if not processed in time. This paper presents an edge computing-based method that is different from traditional centralized cloud computation because its decentralization characteristics meet the high-speed and high-response requirements of yarn production. Edge computing nodes, real-time tasks, and edge computing resources are defined. A system model is established, and a real-time task processing method is proposed for the edge computing scenario. Experimental results indicate that the proposed real-time task processing method based on edge computing can effectively solve the delay problem of real-time task processing in spinning cyber-physical systems, save bandwidth, and enhance the security of task transmission.

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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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Isomorphism analysis on generalized modules oriented to the distributed parameterized intelligent product platform
Shasha ZENG, Weiping PENG, Tiaoyu LEI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, 15 (1): 12-23.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (606KB)

The distributed parameterized intelligent product platform (DPIPP) contains many agents of a product minimum approximate autonomous subsystem (generalized module). These distributed agents communicate, coordinate, and cooperate using their knowledge and skills and eventually accomplish the design for mass customization in a loosely coupled environment. In this study, a new method of isomorphism analysis on generalized modules oriented to DPIPP is proposed. First, on the basis of the bill of material partition and generalized module mining, the parameters of the main characteristics are extracted to construct the main characteristic parameter matrix. Second, similarity calculation of generalized modules is realized by improving the clustering using representatives algorithm, and isomorphism model sets are obtained. Generalized modules with a similar structure are combined to complete the isomorphism analysis. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by taking high- and medium-pressure valve data as an example.

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Nonlinear dynamics of a wind turbine tower
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 342-350.
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The recent proliferation of wind turbines has revealed problems in their vulnerability under different site conditions, as evidenced by recent collapses of wind towers after severe actions. Analyses of structures subjected to variable actions can be conducted through several methods with different accuracy levels. Nonlinear dynamics is the most reliable among such methods. This study develops a numerical procedure to obtain approximate solutions for rigid-plastic responses of structures subjected to base harmonic pulses. The procedure’s model is applied to a wind turbine tower subjected to inertial forces generated by harmonic ground acceleration, and failure is assumed to depend on the formation of shear hinges. The proposed approach provides an efficient representation of the post-elastic behavior of the structure, has a low computational cost and high effectiveness, and uses a limited number of mechanical parameters.

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Robust topology optimization of multi-material lattice structures under material and load uncertainties
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 141-152.
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Enabled by advancements in multi-material additive manufacturing, lightweight lattice structures consisting of networks of periodic unit cells have gained popularity due to their extraordinary performance and wide array of functions. This work proposes a density-based robust topology optimization method for meso- or macro-scale multi-material lattice structures under any combination of material and load uncertainties. The method utilizes a new generalized material interpolation scheme for an arbitrary number of materials, and employs univariate dimension reduction and Gauss-type quadrature to quantify and propagate uncertainty. By formulating the objective function as a weighted sum of the mean and standard deviation of compliance, the tradeoff between optimality and robustness can be studied and controlled. Examples of a cantilever beam lattice structure under various material and load uncertainty cases exhibit the efficiency and flexibility of the approach. The accuracy of univariate dimension reduction is validated by comparing the results to the Monte Carlo approach.

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An improved artificial bee colony algorithm with MaxTF heuristic rule for two-sided assembly line balancing problem
Xiaokun DUAN, Bo WU, Youmin HU, Jie LIU, Jing XIONG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 241-253.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1177KB)

Two-sided assembly line is usually used for the assembly of large products such as cars, buses, and trucks. With the development of technical progress, the assembly line needs to be reconfigured and the cycle time of the line should be optimized to satisfy the new assembly process. Two-sided assembly line balancing with the objective of minimizing the cycle time is called TALBP-2. This paper proposes an improved artificial bee colony (IABC) algorithm with the MaxTF heuristic rule. In the heuristic initialization process, the MaxTF rule defines a new task’s priority weight. On the basis of priority weight, the assignment of tasks is reasonable and the quality of an initial solution is high. In the IABC algorithm, two neighborhood strategies are embedded to balance the exploitation and exploration abilities of the algorithm. The employed bees and onlooker bees produce neighboring solutions in different promising regions to accelerate the convergence rate. Furthermore, a well-designed random strategy of scout bees is developed to escape local optima. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed MaxTF rule performs better than other heuristic rules, as it can find the best solution for all the 10 test cases. A comparison of the IABC algorithm and other algorithms proves the effectiveness of the proposed IABC algorithm. The results also denote that the IABC algorithm is efficient and stable in minimizing the cycle time for the TALBP-2, and it can find 20 new best solutions among 25 large-sized problem cases.

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A family of non-conforming crack front elements of quadrilateral and triangular types for 3D crack problems using the boundary element method
Guizhong XIE, Fenglin ZHOU, Hao LI, Xiaoyu WEN, Fannian MENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 332-341.
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This study focuses on establishing non- conforming crack front elements of quadrilateral and triangular types for 3D crack problems when the dual boundary element method is applied. The asymptotic behavior of the physical variables in the area near the crack front is fully considered in the construction of the shape function. In the developed quadrilateral and triangular crack front elements, the asymptotic term, which captures the asymptotic behavior of the physical variable, is multiplied directly by the conventional Lagrange shape function to form a new crack front shape function. Several benchmark numerical examples that consider penny-shaped cracks and straight-edge crack problems are presented to illustrate the validity and efficiency of the developed crack front elements.

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Robust topology optimization of hinge-free compliant mechanisms with material uncertainties based on a non-probabilistic field model
Junjie ZHAN, Yangjun LUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 201-212.
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This paper presents a new robust topology optimization framework for hinge-free compliant mecha- nisms with spatially varying material uncertainties, which are described using a non-probabilistic bounded field model. Bounded field uncertainties are efficiently represented by a reduced set of uncertain-but-bounded coefficients on the basis of the series expansion method. Robust topology optimization of compliant mechanisms is then defined to minimize the variation in output displacement under constraints of the mean displacement and predefined material volume. The nest optimization problem is solved using a gradient-based optimization algorithm. Numerical examples are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for circumventing hinges in topology optimization of compliant mechanisms.

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Review on mechanism and process of surface polishing using lasers
Arun KRISHNAN, Fengzhou FANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 299-319.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1938KB)

Laser polishing is a technology of smoothening the surface of various materials with highly intense laser beams. When these beams impact on the material surface to be polished, the surface starts to be melted due to the high temperature. The melted material is then relocated from the ‘peaks to valleys’ under the multidirectional action of surface tension. By varying the process parameters such as beam intensity, energy density, spot diameter, and feed rate, different rates of surface roughness can be achieved. High precision polishing of surfaces can be done using laser process. Currently, laser polishing has extended its applications from photonics to molds as well as bio-medical sectors. Conventional polishing techniques have many drawbacks such as less capability of polishing freeform surfaces, environmental pollution, long processing time, and health hazards for the operators. Laser polishing on the other hand eliminates all the mentioned drawbacks and comes as a promising technology that can be relied for smoothening of initial topography of the surfaces irrespective of the complexity of the surface. Majority of the researchers performed laser polishing on materials such as steel, titanium, and its alloys because of its low cost and reliability. This article gives a detailed overview of the laser polishing mechanism by explaining various process parameters briefly to get a better understanding about the entire polishing process. The advantages and applications are also explained clearly to have a good knowledge about the importance of laser polishing in the future.

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Isogeometric topology optimization based on energy penalization for symmetric structure
Xianda XIE, Shuting WANG, Ming YE, Zhaohui XIA, Wei ZHAO, Ning JIANG, Manman XU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, 15 (1): 100-122.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (5694KB)

We present an energy penalization method for isogeometric topology optimization using moving morphable components (ITO–MMC), propose an ITO–MMC with an additional bilateral or periodic symmetric constraint for symmetric structures, and then extend the proposed energy penalization method to an ITO–MMC with a symmetric constraint. The energy penalization method can solve the problems of numerical instability and convergence for the ITO–MMC and the ITO–MMC subjected to the structural symmetric constraint with asymmetric loads. Topology optimization problems of asymmetric, bilateral symmetric, and periodic symmetric structures are discussed to validate the effectiveness of the proposed energy penalization approach. Compared with the conventional ITO–MMC, the energy penalization method for the ITO–MMC can improve the convergence rate from 18.6% to 44.5% for the optimization of the asymmetric structure. For the ITO–MMC under a bilateral symmetric constraint, the proposed method can reduce the objective value by 5.6% and obtain a final optimized topology that has a clear boundary with decreased iterations. For the ITO–MMC under a periodic symmetric constraint, the proposed energy penalization method can dramatically reduce the number of iterations and obtain a speedup of more than 2.

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Concurrent optimization of structural topology and infill properties with a CBF-based level set method
Long JIANG, Yang GUO, Shikui CHEN, Peng WEI, Na LEI, Xianfeng David GU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 171-189.
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In this paper, a parametric level-set-based topology optimization framework is proposed to concurrently optimize the structural topology at the macroscale and the effective infill properties at the micro/meso scale. The concurrent optimization is achieved by a computational framework combining a new parametric level set approach with mathematical programming. Within the proposed framework, both the structural boundary evolution and the effective infill property optimization can be driven by mathematical programming, which is more advantageous compared with the conventional partial differential equation-driven level set approach. Moreover, the proposed approach will be more efficient in handling nonlinear problems with multiple constraints. Instead of using radial basis functions (RBF), in this paper, we propose to construct a new type of cardinal basis functions (CBF) for the level set function parameterization. The proposed CBF parameterization ensures an explicit impose of the lower and upper bounds of the design variables. This overcomes the intrinsic disadvantage of the conventional RBF-based parametric level set method, where the lower and upper bounds of the design variables oftentimes have to be set by trial and error. A variational distance regularization method is utilized in this research to regularize the level set function to be a desired distance-regularized shape. With the distance information embedded in the level set model, the wrapping boundary layer and the interior infill region can be naturally defined. The isotropic infill achieved via the mesoscale topology optimization is conformally fit into the wrapping boundary layer using the shape-preserving conformal mapping method, which leads to a hierarchical physical structure with optimized overall topology and effective infill properties. The proposed method is expected to provide a timely solution to the increasing demand for multiscale and multifunctional structure design.

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Review of the damage mechanism in wind turbine gearbox bearings under rolling contact fatigue
Yun-Shuai SU, Shu-Rong YU, Shu-Xin LI, Yan-Ni HE
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (4): 434-441.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1097KB)

Wind turbine gearbox bearings fail with the service life is much shorter than the designed life. Gearbox bearings are subjected to rolling contact fatigue (RCF) and they are observed to fail due to axial cracking, surface flaking, and the formation of white etching areas (WEAs). The current study reviewed these three typical failure modes. The underlying dominant mechanisms were discussed with emphasis on the formation mechanism of WEAs. Although numerous studies have been carried out, the formation of WEAs remains unclear. The prevailing mechanism of the rubbing of crack faces that generates WEAs was questioned by the authors. WEAs were compared with adiabatic shear bands (ASBs) generated in the high strain rate deformation in terms of microstructural compositions, grain refinement, and formation mechanism. Results indicate that a number of similarities exist between them. However, substantial evidence is required to verify whether or not WEAs and ASBs are the same matters.

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Controlling nested wrinkle morphology through the boundary effect on narrow-band thin films
Hanyang XU, Tielin SHI, Guanglan LIAO, Qi XIA
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 235-240.
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We describe the formation of nested wrinkles created by the thermal mismatch between a narrow-band thin film and a compliant substrate. When a film is described as “narrow-band”, it literally means that the film band width is much shorter than its length; more precisely, it means that the width is comparable with the wavelength of the wrinkles. A silicon mask was used during film sputtering to create narrow-band films on poly (dimethylsiloxane) substrate, thus creating regular boundaries to steer local stresses and control wrinkle morphology. Disordered nano-scale wrinkles were found nested within highly ordered micro-scale sinusoidal wrinkles. The formation of nested wrinkles was explained through the amplitude and wavelength saturation of nano-scale wrinkles. The disordered morphology of nano-scale wrinkles and the highly ordered morphology of micro-scale wrinkles were explained by using the boundary effect.

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A regularization scheme for explicit level-set XFEM topology optimization
Markus J. GEISS, Jorge L. BARRERA, Narasimha BODDETI, Kurt MAUTE
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 153-170.
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Regularization of the level-set (LS) field is a critical part of LS-based topology optimization (TO) approaches. Traditionally this is achieved by advancing the LS field through the solution of a Hamilton-Jacobi equation combined with a reinitialization scheme. This approach, however, may limit the maximum step size and introduces discontinuities in the design process. Alternatively, energy functionals and intermediate LS value penalizations have been proposed. This paper introduces a novel LS regularization approach based on a signed distance field (SDF) which is applicable to explicit LS-based TO. The SDF is obtained using the heat method (HM) and is reconstructed for every design in the optimization process. The governing equations of the HM, as well as the ones describing the physical response of the system of interest, are discretized by the extended finite element method (XFEM). Numerical examples for problems modeled by linear elasticity, nonlinear hyperelasticity and the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in two and three dimensions are presented to show the applicability of the proposed scheme to a broad range of design optimization problems.

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Performance design of a cryogenic air separation unit for variable working conditions using the lumped parameter model
Jinghua XU, Tiantian WANG, Qianyong CHEN, Shuyou ZHANG, Jianrong TAN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, 15 (1): 24-42.
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Large-scale cryogenic air separation units (ASUs), which are widely used in global petrochemical and semiconductor industries, are being developed with high operating elasticity under variable working conditions. Different from discrete processes in traditional machinery manufacturing, the ASU process is continuous and involves the compression, adsorption, cooling, condensation, liquefaction, evaporation, and distillation of multiple streams. This feature indicates that thousands of technical parameters in adsorption, heat transfer, and distillation processes are correlated and merged into a large-scale complex system. A lumped parameter model (LPM) of ASU is proposed by lumping the main factors together and simplifying the secondary ones to achieve accurate and fast performance design. On the basis of material and energy conservation laws, the piecewise-lumped parameters are extracted under variable working conditions by using LPM. Takagi–Sugeno (T–S) fuzzy interval detection is recursively utilized to determine whether the critical point is detected or not by using different thresholds. Compared with the traditional method, LPM is particularly suitable for “rough first then precise” modeling by expanding the feasible domain using fuzzy intervals. With LPM, the performance of the air compressor, molecular sieve adsorber, turbo expander, main plate-fin heat exchangers, and packing column of a 100000 Nm3 O2/h large-scale ASU is enhanced to adapt to variable working conditions. The designed value of net power consumption per unit of oxygen production (kW/(Nm3 O2)) is reduced by 6.45%.

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Evaluation of regenerative braking based on single-pedal control for electric vehicles
Wei LIU, Hongzhong QI, Xintian LIU, Yansong WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, 15 (1): 166-179.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2667KB)

More than 25% of vehicle kinetic energy can be recycled under urban driving cycles. A single-pedal control strategy for regenerative braking is proposed to further enhance energy efficiency. Acceleration and deceleration are controlled by a single pedal, which alleviates driving intensity and prompts energy recovery. Regenerative braking is theoretically analyzed based on the construction of the single-pedal system, vehicle braking dynamics, and energy conservation law. The single-pedal control strategy is developed by considering daily driving conditions, and a single-pedal simulation model is established. Typical driving cycles are simulated to verify the effectiveness of the single-pedal control strategy. A dynamometer test is conducted to confirm the validity of the simulation model. Results show that using the single-pedal control strategy for electric vehicles can effectively improve the energy recovery rate and extend the driving range under the premise of ensuring safety while braking. The study lays a technical foundation for the optimization of regenerative braking systems and development of single-pedal control systems, which are conducive to the promotion and popularization of electric vehicles.

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Topology optimization of piezoelectric bi-material actuators with velocity feedback control
Mariana MORETTI, Emílio C. N. SILVA
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 190-200.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1515KB)

In recent years, the new technologies and discoveries on manufacturing materials have encouraged researchers to investigate the appearance of material properties that are not naturally available. Materials featuring a specific stiffness, or structures that combine non-structural and structural functions are applied in the aerospace, electronics and medical industry fields. Particularly, structures designed for dynamic actuation with reduced vibration response are the focus of this work. The bi-material and multifunctional concepts are considered for the design of a controlled piezoelectric actuator with vibration suppression by means of the topology optimization method (TOM). The bi-material piezoelectric actuator (BPEA) has its metallic host layer designed by the TOM, which defines the structural function, and the electric function is given by two piezo-ceramic layers that act as a sensor and an actuator coupled with a constant gain active velocity feedback control (AVFC). The AVFC, provided by the piezoelectric layers, affects the structural damping of the system through the velocity state variables readings in time domain. The dynamic equation analyzed throughout the optimization procedure is fully elaborated and implemented. The dynamic response for the rectangular four-noded finite element analysis is obtained by the Newmark’s time-integration method, which is applied to the physical and the adjoint systems, given that the adjoint formulation is needed for the sensitivity analysis. A gradient-based optimization method is applied to minimize the displacement energy output measured at a predefined degree-of-freedom of the BPEA when a transient mechanical load is applied. Results are obtained for different control gain values to evaluate their influence on the final topology.

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Vehicle roll stability control with active roll-resistant electro-hydraulic suspension
Lijun XIAO, Ming WANG, Bangji ZHANG, Zhihua ZHONG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, 15 (1): 43-54.
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This study examines roll stability control for vehicles with an active roll-resistant electro-hydraulic suspension (RREHS) subsystem under steering maneuvers. First, we derive a vehicle model with four degrees of freedom and incorporates yaw and roll motions. Second, an optimal linear quadratic regulator controller is obtained in consideration of dynamic vehicle performance. Third, an RREHS subsystem with an electric servo-valve actuator is proposed, and the corresponding dynamic equations are obtained. Fourth, field experiments are conducted to validate the performance of the vehicle model under sine-wave and double-lane-change steering maneuvers. Finally, the effectiveness of the active RREHS is determined by examining vehicle responses under sine-wave and double-lane-change maneuvers. The enhancement in vehicle roll stability through the RREHS subsystem is also verified.

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Design and analysis of a class of redundant collaborative manipulators with 2D large rotational angles
Xiaodong JIN, Yuefa FANG, Dan ZHANG, Xueling LUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, 15 (1): 66-80.
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The parallel spindle heads with high rotational capability are demanded in the area of multi-axis machine tools and 3D printers. This paper focuses on designing a class of 2R1T (R: Rotation; T: Translation) parallel spindle heads and the corresponding collaborative 5-axis manipulators with 2-dimension (2D) large rotational angles. In order to construct 2D rotational degrees of freedom (DOFs), a platform with 2D revolute joints is proposed first. Based on the constraint screw theory, the feasible limbs that can be connected in the platform are synthesized. In order to provide constant rotational axis for the platform, a class of redundant limbs are designed. A class of redundant 2R1T parallel spindle heads is obtained by connecting the redundant limbs with the platform and the redundant characteristics are verified by the modified Grübler-Kutzbach criterion. The corresponding 5-axis collaborative manipulators are presented by constructing a 2-DOF series translational bottom moving platform. The inverse kinematics and the orientation workspace as well as the decoupling characteristics of this type of 2R1T parallel spindle heads are analyzed. The results show that these manipulators have large 2D rotational angles than the traditional A3/Z3 heads and can be potentially used in the application of multi-axis machine tools and the 3D printers.

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Inverse identification of the mechanical parameters of a pipeline hoop and analysis of the effect of preload
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 358-368.
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To create a dynamic model of a pipeline system effectively and analyze its vibration characteristics, the mechanical characteristic parameters of the pipeline hoop, such as support stiffness and damping under dynamic load, must be obtained. In this study, an inverse method was developed by utilizing measured vibration data to identify the support stiffness and damping of a hoop. The procedure of identifying such parameters was described based on the measured natural frequencies and amplitudes of the frequency response functions (FRFs) of a pipeline system supported by two hoops. A dynamic model of the pipe-hoop system was built with the finite element method, and the formulas for solving the FRF of the pipeline system were provided. On the premise of selecting initial values reasonably, an inverse identification algorithm based on sensitivity analysis was proposed. A case study was performed, and the mechanical parameters of the hoop were identified using the proposed method. After introducing the identified values into the analysis model, the reliability of the identification results was validated by comparing the predicted and measured FRFs of the pipeline. Then, the developed method was used to identify the support stiffness and damping of the pipeline hoop under different preloads of the bolts. The influence of preload was also discussed. Results indicated that the support stiffness and damping of the hoop exhibited frequency-dependent characteristics. When the preloads of the bolts increased, the support stiffness increased, whereas the support damping decreased.

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Manufacturing cost constrained topology optimization for additive manufacturing
Jikai LIU, Qian CHEN, Xuan LIANG, Albert C. TO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 213-221.
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This paper presents a manufacturing cost constrained topology optimization algorithm considering the laser powder bed additive manufacturing process. Topology optimization for additive manufacturing was recently extensively studied, and many related topics have been addressed. However, metal additive manufacturing is an expensive process, and the high manufacturing cost severely hinders the widespread use of this technology. Therefore, the proposed algorithm in this research would provide an opportunity to balance the manufacturing cost while pursuing the superior structural performance through topology optimization. Technically, the additive manufacturing cost model for laser powder bed-based process is established in this paper and real data is collected to support this model. Then, this cost model is transformed into a level set function-based expression, which is integrated into the level set topology optimization problem as a constraint. Therefore, by properly developing the sensitivity result, the metallic additive manufacturing part can be optimized with strictly constrained manufacturing cost. Effectiveness of the proposed algorithm is proved by numerical design examples.

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New analysis model for rotor-bearing systems based on plate theory
Zhinan ZHANG, Mingdong ZHOU, Weimin DING, Huifang MA
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (4): 461-473.
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The purpose of this work is to develop a new analysis model for angular-contact, ball-bearing systems on the basis of plate theory instead of commonly known approaches that utilize spring elements. Axial and radial stiffness on an annular plate are developed based on plate, Timoshenko beam, and plasticity theories. The model is developed using theoretical and inductive methods and validated through a numerical simulation with the finite element method. The new analysis model is suitable for static and modal analyses of rotor-bearing systems. Numerical examples are presented to reveal the effectiveness and applicability of the proposed approach.

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