Unified stiffness characterization of nonlinear compliant shell mechanisms

Joost R. Leemans, Charles J. Kim, Werner W.P.J. van de Sande, Just L. Herder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Compliant shell mechanisms utilize spatially curved thin-walled structures to transfer or transmit force, motion, or energy through elastic deformation. To design spatial mechanisms, designers need comprehensive nonlinear characterization methods, while the existing methods fall short of meaningful comparisons between rotational and translational degrees-of-freedom. This paper presents two approaches, both of which are based on the principle of virtual loads and potential energy, utilizing properties of screw theory, Plucker coordinates, and an eigen-decomposition. This leads to two unification lengths that can be used to compare and visualize all six degrees-of-freedom directions and magnitudes in a nonarbitrary, physically meaningful manner for mechanisms exhibiting geometrically nonlinear behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011011
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mechanisms and Robotics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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