Visualising Compliance of Composite Shell Mechanisms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


In the design of isotropic compliant shell-based mechanisms
a desired response of an end-effector is commonly achieved
through careful selection of shell geometry and material. However, for applications such as the design of medical support devices the shell must conform to a highly constrained set of permissible geometries, limiting tailorability. One solution to this
design challenge is to exploit anisotropic material behaviour.

Advanced composite materials may be elastically tailored
by varying the fibre orientation, but at the cost of increased design complexity. Herein we present an approach for capturing
the effects of material anisotropy on compliant shell mechanisms
by providing the designer with a method for visualising their response in a physically intuitive manner.

We extend the mechanism characterisation technique of Lipkin and Patterson [1] using eigen-decomposition, and visualise
the compliance vectors for structures with material anisotropy.
We characterise the behaviour of cantilevered “tape-spring”
shell geometries with varying enclosed angles using nonlinear
finite element analysis. For small enclosed angles we observe
significant reorienting of the compliance vectors due to stiffness
anisotropy; as the enclosed angle is increased, geometry dominates the response. However, in an intermediate region both geometric and stiffness effects interact, highlighting the potential
richness of the design space
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME 2020 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE 2020)
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Apr 2020

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