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Flexure Systems based on a Symmetric Diaphragm Flexure Shorya Awtar, Alexander H. Slocum

Summary: Flexure Systems based on a Symmetric Diaphragm Flexure
Shorya Awtar, Alexander H. Slocum
Precision Engineering Research Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-445, Cambridge MA 02139
shorya@mit.edu, slocum@mit.edu
This paper presents a symmetric diaphragm flexure as an improvement over the conventional design,
which suffers from parasitic error motions. Tradeoffs in the performance of diaphragm flexure geometries
are discussed qualitatively and quantitatively. Variations of the proposed geometry are suggested to
increase range of motion and tailor the mechanism's Center of Stiffness. The symmetric diaphragm
flexure is used as a building block to construct other flexure systems such as flexible couplings and linear
bearings. A linear force-displacement model for a curved beam is presented that allows analytical
prediction and evaluation of the proposed flexure systems.
Keywords: Diaphragm Flexure, Flexible Coupling, Linear Bearing, Curved-beam Analysis
Diaphragm flexures are commonly used to provide precise out-of-plane motions in various applications
such as voice-coil actuators, pressure sensors, flow control, flexible couplings, MEMS devices, and
frictionless linear bearings. A typical planer diaphragm flexure, comprising of an inner diaphragm, an
outer frame, and intermediate flexure support units, offers three out-of-plane Degrees of Freedom (DOF)
and three in-plane Degrees of Constraint (DOC). As in any flexure design, there exist performance


Source: Awtar, Shorya - Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan


Collections: Engineering