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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

, Volume 15 Issue 2

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Untethered quadrupedal hopping and bounding on a trampoline
Boxing WANG, Chunlin ZHOU, Ziheng DUAN, Qichao ZHU, Jun WU, Rong XIONG
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 181-192.
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For quadruped robots with springy legs, a successful jump usually requires both suitable elastic parts and well-designed control algorithms. However, these two problems are mutually restricted and hard to solve at the same time. In this study, we attempt to solve the problem of controller design with the help of a robot without any elastic mounted parts, in which the untethered robot is made to jump on a trampoline. The differences between jumping on hard surfaces with springy legs and jumping on springy surfaces with rigid legs are briefly discussed. An intuitive control law is proposed to balance foot contact forces; in this manner, excessive pitch oscillation during hopping or bounding can be avoided. Hopping height is controlled by tuning the time delay of the leg stretch. Together with other motion generators based on kinematic law, the robot can perform translational and rotational movements while hopping or bounding on the trampoline. Experiments are conducted to validate the effectiveness of the proposed control framework.

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Sagittal SLIP-anchored task space control for a monopode robot traversing irregular terrain
Haitao YU, Haibo GAO, Liang DING, Zongquan DENG
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 193-208.
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As a well-explored template that captures the essential dynamical behaviors of legged locomotion on sagittal plane, the spring-loaded inverted pendulum (SLIP) model has been extensively employed in both biomechanical study and robotics research. Aiming at fully leveraging the merits of the SLIP model to generate the adaptive trajectories of the center of mass (CoM) with maneuverability, this study presents a novel two-layered sagittal SLIP-anchored (SSA) task space control for a monopode robot to deal with terrain irregularity. This work begins with an analytical investigation of sagittal SLIP dynamics by deriving an approximate solution with satisfactory apex prediction accuracy, and a two-layered SSA task space controller is subsequently developed for the monopode robot. The higher layer employs an analytical approximate representation of the sagittal SLIP model to form a deadbeat controller, which generates an adaptive reference trajectory for the CoM. The lower layer enforces the monopode robot to reproduce a generated CoM movement by using a task space controller to transfer the reference CoM commands into joint torques of the multi-degree of freedom monopode robot. Consequently, an adaptive hopping behavior is exhibited by the robot when traversing irregular terrain. Simulation results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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Dynamic characteristics of a shrouded blade with impact and friction
Xumin GUO, Jin ZENG, Hui MA, Chenguang ZHAO, Lin QU, Bangchun WEN
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 209-226.
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A simplified computational model of a twisted shrouded blade with impact and friction is established. In this model, the shrouded blade is simulated by a flexible Timoshenko beam with a tip-mass, and the effects of centrifugal stiffening, spin softening, and Coriolis force are considered. Impact force is simulated using a linear spring model, and friction force is generated by a tangential spring model under sticking state and a Coulomb friction model under sliding state. The proposed model is validated by a finite element model. Then, the effects of initial gap and normal preload, coefficient of friction, and contact stiffness ratio (the ratio of tangential contact stiffness to normal contact stiffness) on system vibration responses are analyzed. Results show that resonant peaks become inconspicuous and impact plays a dominant role when initial gaps are large between adjacent shrouds. By contrast, in small initial gaps or initial normal preloads condition, resonant speed increases sharply, and the optimal initial normal preloads that can minimize resonant amplitude becomes apparent. Coefficient of friction affects the optimal initial normal preload, but it does not affect vibration responses when the contact between shrouds is under full stick. System resonant amplitude decreases with the increase of contact stiffness ratio, but the optimal initial normal preload is unaffected.

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Relative vibration identification of cutter and workpiece based on improved bidimensional empirical mode decomposition
Jiasheng LI, Xingzhan LI, Wei WEI, Pinkuan LIU
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 227-239.
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In the process of cutting, the relative vibration between the cutter and the workpiece has an important effect on the surface topography. In this study, the bidimensional empirical mode decomposition (BEMD) method is used to identify such effect. According to Riesz transform theory, a type of isotropic monogenic signal is proposed. The boundary data is extended on the basis of a similarity principle that deals with serious boundary effect problem. The decomposition examples show that the improved BEMD can effectively solve the problem of boundary effect and decompose the original machined surface topography at multiple scales. The characteristic surface topography representing the relative vibration between the cutter and the workpiece through feature identification is selected. In addition, the spatial spectrum analysis of the extracted profile is carried out. The decimal part of the frequency ratio that has an important effect on the shape of the contour can be accurately identified through contour extraction and spatial spectrum analysis. The decomposition results of simulation and experimental surface morphology demonstrate the validity of the improved BEMD algorithm in realizing the relative vibration identification between the cutter and the workpiece.

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Two-sided ultrasonic surface rolling process of aeroengine blades based on on-machine noncontact measurement
Shulei YAO, Xian CAO, Shuang LIU, Congyang GONG, Kaiming ZHANG, Chengcheng ZHANG, Xiancheng ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 240-255.
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As crucial parts of an aeroengine, blades are vulnerable to damage from long-term operation in harsh environments. The ultrasonic surface rolling process (USRP) is a novel surface treatment technique that can highly improve the mechanical behavior of blades. During secondary machining, the nominal blade model cannot be used for secondary machining path generation due to the deviation between the actual and nominal blades. The clamping error of the blade also affects the precision of secondary machining. This study presents a two-sided USRP (TS-USRP) machining for aeroengine blades on the basis of on-machine noncontact measurement. First, a TS-USRP machining system for blade is developed. Second, a 3D scanning system is used to obtain the point cloud of the blade, and a series of point cloud processing steps is performed. A local point cloud automatic extraction algorithm is introduced to extract the point cloud of the strengthened region of the blade. Then, the tool path is designed on the basis of the extracted point cloud. Finally, an experiment is conducted on an actual blade, with results showing that the proposed method is effective and efficient.

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Dynamic modulation performance of ferroelectric liquid crystal polarization rotators and Mueller matrix polarimeter optimization
Song ZHANG, Lelun WANG, Anze YI, Honggang GU, Xiuguo CHEN, Hao JIANG, Shiyuan LIU
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 256-264.
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A ferroelectric liquid crystal polarization rotator (FLCPR) has been widely used in polarization measurement due to its fast and stable modulation characteristics. The accurate characterization of the modulation performance of FLCPR directly affects the measurement accuracy of the instrument based on liquid crystal modulation. In this study, FLCPR is accurately characterized using a self-developed high-speed Stokes polarimeter. Strong linear and weak circular birefringence are observed during modulation processes, and all the optical parameters of FLCPR are dependent on driving voltage. A dual FLCPR-based Mueller matrix polarimeter is designed on the basis of the Stokes polarimeter. The designed polarimeter combines the advantages of the high modulation frequency of FLCPR and the ultrahigh temporal resolution of the fast polarization measurement system in the Stokes polarimeter. The optimal configuration of the designed polarizer is predicted in accordance with singular value decomposition. A simulated thickness measurement of a 24 nm standard SiO2 thin film is performed using the optimal configuration. Results show that the relative error in thickness measurement caused by using the unsatisfactory modulation characteristics of FLCPR reaches up to −4.34%. This finding demonstrates the importance of the accurate characterization of FLCPR in developing a Mueller matrix polarizer.

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Evaluation of power regeneration in primary suspension for a railway vehicle
Ruichen WANG, Zhiwei WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 265-278.
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To improve the fuel economy of rail vehicles, this study presents the feasibility of using power regenerating dampers (PRDs) in the primary suspension systems of railway vehicles and evaluates the potential and recoverable power that can be obtained. PRDs are configured as hydraulic electromagnetic-based railway primary vertical dampers and evaluated in parallel and series modes (with and without a viscous damper). Hydraulic configuration converts the linear behavior of the track into a unidirectional rotation of the generator, and the electromagnetic configuration provides a controllable damping force to the primary suspension system. In several case studies, generic railway vehicle primary suspension systems that are configured to include a PRD in the two configuration modes are modeled using computer simulations. The simulations are performed on measured tracks with typical irregularities for a generic UK passenger route. The performance of the modified vehicle is evaluated with respect to key performance indicators, including regenerated power, ride comfort, and running safety. Results indicate that PRDs can simultaneously replace conventional primary vertical dampers, regenerate power, and exhibit desirable dynamic performance. A peak power efficiency of 79.87% is theoretically obtained in series mode on a top-quality German Intercity Express track (Track 270) at a vehicle speed of 160 mile/h (~257 km/h).

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An isogeometric numerical study of partially and fully implicit schemes for transient adjoint shape sensitivity analysis
Zhen-Pei WANG, Zhifeng XIE, Leong Hien POH
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 279-293.
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In structural design optimization involving transient responses, time integration scheme plays a crucial role in sensitivity analysis because it affects the accuracy and stability of transient analysis. In this work, the influence of time integration scheme is studied numerically for the adjoint shape sensitivity analysis of two benchmark transient heat conduction problems within the framework of isogeometric analysis. It is found that (i) the explicit approach (β = 0) and semi-implicit approach with β<0.5 impose a strict stability condition of the transient analysis; (ii) the implicit approach (β=1) and semi-implicit approach with β > 0.5 are generally preferred for their unconditional stability; and (iii) Crank–Nicolson type approach (β=0.5) may induce a large error for large time-step sizes due to the oscillatory solutions. The numerical results also show that the time-step size does not have to be chosen to satisfy the critical conditions for all of the eigen-frequencies. It is recommended to use β0.75 for unconditional stability, such that the oscillation condition is much less critical than the Crank–Nicolson scheme, and the accuracy is higher than a fully implicit approach.

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Experimental study on high-efficiency polishing for potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystal by using two-phase air-water fluid
Ziyuan LIU, Hang GAO, Dongming GUO
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 294-302.
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A high-efficiency polishing approach using two-phase air–water fluid (TAWF) is proposed to avoid surface contamination and solve the inefficiency of previous water-dissolution polishing techniques for potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystal. In the proposed method, controllable deliquescence is implemented without any chemical impurity. The product of deliquescence is then removed by a polishing pad to achieve surface planarization. The mechanism underlying TAWF polishing is analyzed, a special device is built to polish the KDP crystal, and the effect of relative humidity (RH) on polishing performance is studied. The relationship between key parameters of polishing and surface planarization is also investigated. Results show that the polishing performance is improved with increasing RH. However, precisely controlling the RH is extremely difficult during TAWF polishing. Controllable deliquescence can easily be disrupted once the RH fluctuates, which therefore needs to be restricted to a low level to avoid its influence on deliquescence rate. The material removal of TAWF polishing is mainly attributed to the synergistic effect of deliquescence and the polishing pad. Excessive polishing pressure and revolution rate remarkably reduce the life of the polishing pad and the surface quality of the KDP crystal. TAWF polishing using IC-1000 and TEC-168S increase the machining efficiency by 150%, and a smooth surface with a root mean square surface roughness of 5.5 nm is obtained.

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Laser sintering of Cu nanoparticles on PET polymer substrate for printed electronics at different wavelengths and process conditions
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 303-318.
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This study explores the feasibility of different laser systems to sinter screen-printed lines from nonconductive copper nanoparticles (Cu NPs) on polyethylene terephthalate polymer film. These materials are commonly used in manufacturing functional printed electronics for large-area applications. Here, optical and thermal characterization of the materials is conducted to identify suitable laser sources and process conditions. Direct diode (808 nm), Nd:YAG (1064 nm and second harmonic of 532 nm), and ytterbium fiber (1070 nm) lasers are explored. Optimal parameters for sintering the Cu NPs are identified for each laser system, which targets low resistivity and high processing speed. Finally, the quality of the sintered tracks is quantified, and the laser sintering mechanisms observed under different wavelengths are analyzed. Practical considerations are discussed to improve the laser sintering process of Cu NPs.

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Compressive behavior and energy absorption of polymeric lattice structures made by additive manufacturing
Sheng WANG, Jun WANG, Yingjie XU, Weihong ZHANG, Jihong ZHU
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 319-327.
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Lattice structures have numerous outstanding characteristics, such as light weight, high strength, excellent shock resistance, and highly efficient heat dissipation. In this work, by combining experimental and numerical methods, we investigate the compressive behavior and energy absorption of lattices made through the stereolithography apparatus process. Four types of lattice structures are considered: (i) Uniform body-centered-cubic (U-BCC); (ii) graded body-centered-cubic (G-BCC); (iii) uniform body-centered-cubic with z-axis reinforcement (U-BCCz); and (iv) graded body-centered-cubic with z-axis reinforcement (G-BCCz). We conduct compressive tests on these four lattices and numerically simulate the compression process through the finite element method. Analysis results show that BCCz has higher modulus and strength than BCC. In addition, uniform lattices show better energy absorption capabilities at small compression distances, while graded lattices absorb more energy at large compression distances. The good correlation between the simulation results and the experimental phenomena demonstrates the validity and accuracy of the present investigation method.

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Digital high-efficiency print forming method and device for multi-material casting molds
Zhongde SHAN, Zhi GUO, Dong DU, Feng LIU, Wenjiang LI
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 328-337.
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Sand mold 3D printing technology based on the principle of droplet ejection has undergone rapid development in recent years and has elicited increasing attention from engineers and technicians. However, current sand mold 3D printing technology exhibits several problems, such as single-material printing molds, low manufacturing efficiency, and necessary post-process drying and heating for the manufacture of sand molds. This study proposes a novel high-efficiency print forming method and device for multi-material casting molds. The proposed method is specifically related to the integrated forming of two-way coating and printing and the short-flow manufacture of roller compaction and layered heating. These processes can realize the high-efficiency print forming of high-performance sand molds. Experimental results demonstrate that the efficiency of sand mold fabrication can be increased by 200% using the proposed two-way coating and printing method. The integrated forming method for layered heating and roller compaction presented in this study effectively shortens the manufacturing process for 3D-printed sand molds, increases sand mold strength by 63.8%, and reduces resin usage by approximately 30%. The manufacture of multi-material casting molds is demonstrated on typical wheeled cast-iron parts. This research provides theoretical guidance for the engineering application of sand mold 3D printing.

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A carbon efficiency upgrading method for mechanical machining based on scheduling optimization strategy
Shuo ZHU, Hua ZHANG, Zhigang JIANG, Bernard HON
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2020, 15 (2): 338-350.
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Low-carbon manufacturing (LCM) is increasingly being regarded as a new sustainable manufacturing model of carbon emission reduction in the manufacturing industry. In this paper, a two-stage low-carbon scheduling optimization method of job shop is presented as part of the efforts to implement LCM, which also aims to reduce the processing cost and improve the efficiency of a mechanical machining process. In the first stage, a task assignment optimization model is proposed to optimize carbon emissions without jeopardizing the processing efficiency and the profit of a machining process. Non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II and technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution are then adopted to assign the most suitable batch task of different parts to each machine. In the second stage, a processing route optimization model is established to plan the processing sequence of different parts for each machine. Finally, niche genetic algorithm is utilized to minimize the makespan. A case study on the fabrication of four typical parts of a machine tool is demonstrated to validate the proposed method.

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13 articles