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27 July 1998 Design, modeling, and performance of a high-force piezoelectric inchworm motor
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A linear inchworm motor was developed for structural shape control applications. One motivation for this development was the desire for higher speed alternatives to shape memory alloy based devices. Features of the subject device include compactness (60 X 40 X 20 mm), large displacement range (approximately 1 cm), and large holding force capability (approximately 200 N). There are three active piezoelectric elements within the inchworm: two `clamps' and one `pusher'. Large displacements are achieved by repetitively advancing and clamping the pushing element. Although each pusher step is small, on the order of 10 microns, if the step rate is high enough, substantial speeds may be obtained (approximately 1 cm/s). In the past, inchworm devices have been used primarily for precision positioning. The development of a robust clamping mechanism is essential to the attainment of high force capability, and considerable design effort focused on improving this mechanism. To guide the design, a lumped parameter model of the inchworm was developed. This model included the dynamics of the moving shaft and the frictional clamping devices, and used a variable friction coefficient. It enables the simulation of the time response of the actuator under typical loading conditions. The effects of the step drive frequency, the pre-load applied on the clamps, and the phase shifts of the clamp signals to the main pusher signal were investigated. Using this tool, the frequency bandwidth, the optimal pre-load and phase shifts which result in maximum speed were explored. Measured rates of motion agreed well with predictions, but the measured dynamic force was lower than expected.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Timothy P. Galante, Jeremy Eli Frank, Julien Bernard, Weicheng Chen, George Andre Lesieutre, and Gary H. Koopmann "Design, modeling, and performance of a high-force piezoelectric inchworm motor", Proc. SPIE 3329, Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (27 July 1998);

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