Abstract

Compliant constant-force mechanisms (CCFMs), which provide a near constant-force output over a range of displacement, can benefit many applications. This work proposes a novel large-stroke CCFM (abbreviated as B2CCFM) that utilizes the second buckling mode of flexible beams. Two general nondimensionalized metrics, one describing the variation of output force and the other describing the operational displacement, are proposed to effectively characterize the performances of various CCFMs. Based on the general metrics, design formulas that can help designers quickly find suitable B2CCFM design for a specific application are obtained. A kinetostatic model for B2CCFM is also provided based on the chained beam constrain model to verify B2CCFM designs. An example accompanied with a prototype is presented to verify this novel CCFM and the effectiveness of the design formulas. The experimental results show that the B2CCFM example outputs a constant-force in a range as large as 45% of the beam length with variation less than 4.7%. The nondimensionalized metrics were demonstrated in comparison of several CCFMs, and the comparison results show the superior performances of B2CCFMs.

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