The Art Of Flexure Mechanism Design by Simon HeneinThe Art Of Flexure Mechanism Design by Simon Henein

The Art Of Flexure Mechanism Design

bySimon Henein, Lennart Rubbert

Hardcover | November 7, 2017

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Mechanism constitute the mechanical organs of machines. They are generally composed of rigid segments connected to each other by articulated joints. The function of the joints is to act as bearings, i.e. to constraint the relative motion of the segments it connects, while leaving a freedom of motion in some specific directions. Conventional mechanisms rely on sliding or rolling motions between solid bodies in order to fulfill the bearing function. Consequently, these bearings exhibit friction forcers limiting the motion precision, they require lubrication, they undergo wear, they produce debris and they have a limited lifetime. Flexure mechanisms rely on a radically different physical principle to fulfill the bearing function : the elastic deformation of beams and membranes. This gets around the above-mentioned limitations. The rigid segments of the mechanism are connected to each other via elastically deformable joints called flexures which are springs whose stiffnesses are designed to be very high in the directions where the joint has to constrain relative motion and very flexile in the directions where freedom of motion is required. As a result, mechanisms can be manufactured monolithically and, by proper choice of materials and geometry of the flexures, lead to lifetimes of tens of millions of cycles without any wear or change in the geometry or forces of motion. Thanks to these unique properties flexure mechanisms have become an inescapable technology in all environments where friction, lubrication, wear, debris or mechanical backlash are forbidden : outer space, vacuum, cryogenics, high radiation, ultra-clean environments, etc. This book comes within the scope of this technological evolution. It gathers the knowledge of experts in flexure mechanisms design having worked in the key fields of high precision robotics, aerospace mechanisms, particle accelerators and watch making industry. It is dedicated to engineers, scientists and students working in these fields. The book presents the basic principles underlying flexure mechanism design, the most important flexures and the key formulas for their proper design. It also covers more general aspects of the kinematic design of multi-degrees of freedom mechanism exploiting the state of the art approaches of parallel kinematics. A wide variety of concrete examples of systems designed based on theses approaches are presented in details.

Simon Heneinwas born in 1973. He obtained an engineering degree at the Ecole Polytechnique F'rale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 1996 and went on to complete his doctorate at the EPFL in 2000. In 2001, he published the book "Conception des guidages flexibles" which has become a reference in precision engineering. He then joined the Centre Suiss...
Title:The Art Of Flexure Mechanism DesignFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:November 7, 2017Publisher:Taylor and FrancisLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:2940222568

ISBN - 13:9782940222568

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Table of Contents


Flexure bearing importance

Flexible element classification

Book goals

Topic delimitation '


Underlying theory

Basic assumptions

Allowable deflections


Flexure joint elements

General considerations

Leaf springs


Torsion bars

Circular notch hinges

Linear translation bearings

Two parallel leaf spring stage

Over constrained stage with four parallel leaf springs

Four prismatic notch hinge stage

Four circular notch hinge stage

Conclusion on linear translation bearings

Rotational bearings

Separate cross spring pivot'

Joined cross spring pivot'

RCC pivot with two leaf springs'

RCC pivot with four notch hinges'

Cross pivot with four notch hinges '

Comparison of the pivots

Radial loads

Over constrained pivot with three leaf springs


Flexure structures


Choice of materials

Working envelope


Modular design of flexure mechanisms


Concept of modular kinematics

Reduced solution catalogue for ultra-high precision

Mechanical design of the building bricks

Case study: 5-DOF ultra-high precision robot

Ultra-high precision parallel robots family


Final Note

Rectilinear flexure mechanisms


Rectilinear Kinematics

Sarrus guiding mechanism

13-hingestage mechanism

Analysis and comparison

Application to the watt balance


Examples of planar mechanisms used for out-of-plane functions


Example of design problem of an active cardiac stabilizer

Exploiting the vicinity of singularities

Optimization of the spherical compliant joint

Exploiting the singularities of parallel mechanisms

Selection of an actuation mechanism

Integration of the three mechanisms in the two planes