Sep 2009, Volume 4 Issue 3

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    Michael Yu WANG

    This paper presents a focused examination of the mechanical and geometric advantages in compliant mechanisms and their ramifications in the design formulations of compliant mechanisms posed as a topology optimization problem. With a linear elastic structural analysis, we quantify mechanical (and geometric) advantage in terms of the stiffness elements of the mechanism's structure. We then analyze the common formulations of compliant mechanism optimization and the role of the external springs added in the formulations. It is shown that the common formulations using mechanical (or geometric) advantage would directly emulate at best a rigid-body linkage to the true optimum design. As a result, the topology optimization generates point flexures in the resulting optimal mechanisms. A case study is investigated to demonstrate the resulting trends in the current formulations.

    Jinhao QIU, Hongli JI, Kongjun ZHU

    The piezoelectric materials, as the most widely used functional materials in smart structures, have many outstanding advantages for sensors and actuators, especially in vibration control, because of their excellent mechanical-electrical coupling characteristics and frequency response characteristics. Semi-active vibration control based on state switching and pulse switching has been receiving much attention over the past decade because of several advantages. Compared with standard passive piezoelectric damping, these new semi-passive techniques offer higher robustness. Compared with active damping systems, their implementation does not require any sophisticated signal processing systems or any bulky power amplifier. In this review article, the principles of the semi-active control methods based on switched shunt circuit, including state-switched method, synchronized switch damping techniques, and active control theory-based switching techniques, and their recent developments are introduced. Moreover, the future directions of research in semi-active control are also summarized.

    Fubing BAO, Jianzhong LIN

    In micro- and nanoscale gas flows, the flow falls into the transition flow regime. There are not enough molecule collisions and the gas deviates from the equilibrium. The Navier-Stokes equations fail to describe the gas flow in this regime. The direct simulation Monte Carlo method converges slowly and requires lots of computational time. As a result, the high-order Burnett equations are used to study the gas flow and heat transfer characteristics in micro- and nanoscale gas flows in this paper. The Burnett equations are first reviewed, and the augmented Burnett equations with high-order slip boundary conditions are then used to model the gas flow and heat transfer in Couette and Poiseuille flows in the transition regime.

    Chin-Yin CHEN, I-Ming CHEN, Chi-Cheng CHENG

    This paper presents a system based on the integrated design and experiment for a one degree-of-freedom (DOF) legged mechatronic system (LMTS). A six-bar linkage mechanism, which is derived from a four-bar linkage with a symmetrical coupler point and pantograph into one, is designed, and common controllers are used to control the velocity and position loops.

    For system-based dynamic optimization, the design for control (DFC) approach is used to integrate the structure and control for improving dynamic performance with reduced control torque.

    Finally, for a rapid 3D graphical based implementation of the system, high-level computer-aided rapid system integration (CARSI) technology is used to integrate the structure design, controller design, and system implementation into the design and analytical software environment based on Pro/engineer, XML syntax, Simmechanics, and Simulink. Thus, the development time for the LMTS is reduced.

    Huafeng DING, Zhen HUANG

    Structure synthesis of mechanisms is a pivotal issue in the field of mechanical innovation and mechanical conceptual design. In this paper, a new loop theory of kinematic chains is proposed. Based on this theory, some key problems that hamper computer-based automatic synthesis of mechanisms are solved. 1) The open problem of isomorphism of kinematic chains that has lasted for more than four decades is successfully solved. 2) A new rigid sub-chain detection method that is especially suitable for complex chains is proposed. 3) The characteristic representation code remains the same even if the drawing modes and labeling ways of a chain are changed, and an atlas database of kinematic chains is established. The multi-value problem for the representation of kinematic chains is solved. The results in this paper will benefit the digitization and computerization of mechanical conceptual design.

    Qingsheng YANG, Fang XU

    Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites exhibit nonlinear and hyperelastic characteristics under finite deformation. This paper investigates the macroscopic hyperelastic behavior of fiber reinforced polymer composites using a micromechanical model and finite deformation theory based on the hyperelastic constitutive law. The local stress and deformation of a representative volume element are calculated by the nonlinear finite element method. Then, an averaging procedure is used to find the homogenized stress and strain, and the macroscopic stress-strain curves are obtained. Numerical examples are given to demonstrate hyperelastic behavior and deformation of the composites, and the effects of the distribution pattern of fibers are also investigated to model the mechanical behavior of FRP composites.

    Feng HU, Bo WU, Youmin HU, Tielin SHI

    The paper proposes an identification method of the dynamic stiffness matrix of a bearing joint region on the basis of theoretical analysis and experiments. The author deduces an identification model of the dynamic stiffness matrix from the synthetic substructure method. The dynamic stiffness matrix of the bearing joint region can be identified by measuring the matrix of frequency response function (FRFs) of the substructure (axle) and whole structure (assembly of the axle, bearing, and bearing housing) in different positions. Considering difficulty in measuring angular displacement, applying moment, and directly measuring relevant FRFs of rotational degree of freedom, the author employs an accurately calibrated finite element model of the unconstrained structure for indirect estimation. With experiments and simulation analysis, FRFs related with translational degree of freedom, which is estimated through the finite element model, agrees with experimental results, and there is very high reliability in the identified dynamic stiffness matrix of the bearing joint region.

    Hui AN, Fan HE, Lingxia XING, Xiaoyang LI

    To construct the spatial kinetic equation of an arterial tube and obtain its radial natural frequency, a linear-elastic and small deformation condition is assumed. The theoretical analysis is first presented and the finite element method is then used to numerically simulate the spatial kinematics. The results show that the first-order frequency is 15.8 Hz and the obtained exact analytical solutions agree well with numerical solutions, which proves that the theoretical analysis and numerical simulation are both correct.

    Hao WU, Jianwen WANG, Qi AN

    A Jeffcott rotor system of cylindrical roller bearings is studied in detail. Its critical speed is calculated by a new calculation method with roller bearing stiffness and damping. The influences of bearing parameters, such as the roller length, rotor mass, distance between the bearings and the kinematics viscosity of oil on the system critical speed are numerically studied, and the influences of an oil film and damping on the critical speed are also studied. Regular curves of the relationship between the geometric parameters and the system critical speed are obtained. The results show that with increasing roller length and radial load, the critical speed increases; and with increasing rotor mass and the distance between the bearings and the kinematics viscosity, the critical speed decreases. This means that an oil film will decrease the critical rotational speed of the rotor system.

    Yang ZHOU, Xingyu WANG, Xianzhou ZHANG, Weihua LI

    This paper presents the development and characterization of a magnetorheological (MR) fluid-based variable stiffness and damping isolator. The prototype of the MR fluid isolator is fabricated, and its dynamic behavior is measured under various applied magnetic fields. The parameters of the model under various magnetic fields are identified, and the dynamic performance of the isolator is evaluated in simulation. Experimental results indicate that both the stiffness and damping capability of the developed MR isolator can be controlled by an external magnetic field.

    Zhupeng ZHENG, Xiaoning SUN, Ying LEI

    Corrosion of steel and rebar in concrete structures is one of the most frequent reasons for civil infrastructure failures. Thus, improving the effective corrosion sensor technology can greatly reduce cost and provide safe structures with long service lives. However, assessing the corrosion condition of rebars is not simple because they are buried in concrete. In this paper, using fiber Bragg grating (FBG), a corrosion sensor for monitoring steel rebars embedded in a concrete structure is developed and validated by experiments. Based on the fact that the volume and diameter of a rebar embedded in concrete will enlarge due to corrosion, an FBG packaged with fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) is wrapped on the steel bar. During corrosion, the increase in the bar diameter leads to the increase in fiber strain, which can be measured by the shift of the wavelength of FBG. Performances of the corrosion sensor are validated by accelerating corrosion in lab experiments. The corrosion sensor is embedded in a concrete specimen put in a 5% sodium chloride solution with a constant current. Experimental results show that the corrosion sensor can monitor the concurrence of corrosion of rebars in concrete. The corrosion extent can be quantitatively evaluated through the change in the wavelength of FBG. Therefore, the corrosion sensor developed in this paper is feasible for monitoring the early corrosion of rebars in concrete.

    Longchao DAI, Xinwei WANG

    Within the framework of nonlinear electroelasticity, the anti-plane problem of a circular-arc interfacial crack between a circular piezoelectric inhomogeneity and an infinite piezoelectric matrix subjected to a far-field uniform loading is investigated by an electrical strip saturation model, the complex variable method, and the method of analytical continuation. Explicit closed form expressions for the complex potentials in both the matrix and the inclusion, and the stress intensity factor at the crack tip are presented. Comparison with some related solutions based on the linear electroelastic theory shows the validity of the present solutions

    Xiaoyue ZHANG, Shenfang YUAN, Tong HAO

    This study aims to model the propagation of Lamb waves used in structure health monitoring. A number of different numerical computational techniques have been developed for wave propagation studies. The local interaction simulation approach, used for modeling sharp interfaces and discontinuities in complex media (LISA/SIM theory), has been effectively applied to numerical simulations of elastic wave interaction. This modeling is based on the local interaction simulation approach theory and is finally accomplished through the finite elements software Ansys11. In this paper, the Lamb waves propagating characteristics and the LISA/SIM theory are introduced. The finite difference equations describing wave propagation used in the LISA/SIM theory are obtained. Then, an anisotropic metallic plate model is modeled and a simulating Lamb waves signal is loaded on. Finally, the Lamb waves propagation modeling is implemented.

    Hanmin PENG, Qingjun Ding, Huafeng LI

    This paper describes a method for preliminary manufacturing experiments on a type of smart materials—ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs). They belong to EAP materials and are famous for their capability of huge displacement within a low voltage (1–3 V). With best operation quality in the humid environment, they can be made as underwater robots in simple structures. In this paper, two purposes are embodied. One focuses on the research on the IPMCs characteristics, including the actuating principle, manufacturing process, and parameters of performance. The other is that a relevant robot driven by IPMCs strips is designed. According to imitation propulsion mechanism of undulatory fins, IPMCs are designed for a novel bionic water vehicle propelled by undulatory multiple fish-like fins (made by IPMCs). The robot consists of three fins on the bottom tightly contacting by plastic foils with each other.

    Yongqing SU, Yikuan SONG, Jiguang YUE

    The controllability of the magneto-rheological fluid (MRF) flowing through a micro-pipeline is analyzed. The coupled formulas for MRF are deduced by analyzing the property of the flow field and magnetic field. Then, the relationship between the flow speed of MRF and the special shear stress under the effect of the magnetic field is founded. The model of the MRF and micro-pipeline is established by using multi-physics software of Comsol, the curve of V-A in an ideal condition is attained by modifying parameters, and by adding the boundary condition of the model. This paper provides a theoretical proof of the controllability of MRF flowing through the micro-pipeline and explores MRF’s application on the micro-drive and control field.

    Shihui XIE, Kongjun ZHU, Jinhao QIU, Hua GUO

    Lead-free piezoelectric ceramics (1-x)NaNbO3-xBaTiO3 have been fabricated by a traditional ceramic sintering technique. The effects of BaTiO3 (BT) synthesized by hydrothermal method on crystal structure, density, dielectric, piezoelectric, and electromechanical properties were investigated. Results show that the phase structure transforms from the orthorhombic phase to the tetragonal phase with the increase of the content of BT, and the two phases co-exist when 0.08<x≤0.10. However, the optimum composition for (1-x)NaNbO3-xBaTiO3 ceramics is 0.90NaNbO3-0.10BaTiO3. The 0.90NaNbO3-0.10BaTiO3 ceramics sintered at 1250°C have higher properties: piezoelectric constant d33 of 120 pC/N, dielectric constant ?r of 718, planar electromechanical coupling factor kp of 24%, planar frequency Nd of 3 MHz·mm, and the mechanical quality factor Qm of 138, respectively. The results show that the (1-x)NaNbO3-xBaTiO3 ceramics is one of the promising lead-free materials for high-frequency applications.

    Kaori YUSE, Benoit GUIFFARD, Rabah BELOUADAH, Lionel PETIT, Laurence SEVEYRAT,, Daniel GUYOMAR

    In the last decade, electroactive polymers have attracted much attention especially because of their very actuating capabilities. Large strain is experimentally observed, but under quite high electrical field, which can be a severe drawback for actuating applications. First part of the present paper is concerned with the reduction of applied field onto electroactive polymer films to get a given strain level. Polyurethane (PU) films filled with carbon black (CB) nanoparticles exhibit relatively high strain level under a field of only 12.5 kV/mm. The simple easy-to-make method solution cast method was applied. Even though the generated stress level is still quite low, the present work shows high strain level under quite low field appliance by easy manufacturing, lightweight, and flexible polymer film. Besides, another interest of the present paper is in magneto-elasto-electric effect of a polymer film filled with some magnetic nano particles. Films filled with nonpiezoelectric but with magnetite particles has still short history. With the use of magneto materials, a large magnetic DC bias field is generally required, and it causes big problem on application. The films filled with some magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4 and Nickel) are fabricated then examined. It is clearly demonstrated that our films do not require any DC bias. Although linear polarization value is relatively small, the first step of the studies on magnetite nano-filled film is presented.