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Mechanical Sciences An open-access journal for theoretical and applied mechanics
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Volume 9, issue 2
Mech. Sci., 9, 389–404, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/ms-9-389-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Mech. Sci., 9, 389–404, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/ms-9-389-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Nov 2018

Research article | 20 Nov 2018

detasFLEX – A computational design tool for the analysis of various notch flexure hinges based on non-linear modeling

Stefan Henning, Sebastian Linß, and Lena Zentner Stefan Henning et al.
  • Compliant Systems Group, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau, 98693, Germany

Abstract. Notch flexure hinges are commonly used in compliant mechanisms for precision engineering applications and yet important rotational properties of a hinge like the bending stiffness, maximum angular deflection and rotational precision are difficult to predict accurately and simultaneously. There exist some closed-form equations and a few design tool approaches for calculating flexure hinges with particular geometries, but apart from that no comprehensive calculation program for the contour-specific analysis is known to the authors. Developed in MATLAB, this paper presents a novel computational design tool using a non-linear analytical approach for large deflections of rod-like structures to calculate the elasto-kinematic flexure hinge properties by numerically solving a system of differential equations. Building on previous investigations, four certain hinge contours are implemented, the circular, the corner-filleted, the elliptical, and the power function-based contour with different exponents. In addition to the theoretical approach and the implementation it is exemplarily shown, that finite elements method (FEM) results correlate well with the analytical design tool results. For a given deflection angle of 10° and a corner-filleted contour as an example, the deviations of the bending stiffness are between 0.1 % and 9.4 % for typical parameter values. The presented design tool can be beneficial for the accelerated and systematic synthesis of compliant mechanisms with optimized flexure hinges.

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Short summary
A novel computational design tool to calculate the elasto-kinematic flexure hinge properties is presented. Four hinge contours are implemented. It is shown, that FEM results correlate well with the analytical design tool results. For a given deflection angle of 10° and a corner-filleted contour, the deviations of the bending stiffness are between 0.1 % and 9.4 %. The design tool can be beneficial for the accelerated and systematic synthesis of compliant mechanisms with optimized flexure hinges.
A novel computational design tool to calculate the elasto-kinematic flexure hinge properties is...
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