Multiple path generation by a flexible four-bar mechanism using ionic polymer metal composite
AbstractThis article presents a novel design of a flexible four-bar crank–rocker mechanism using ionic polymer metal composite for generating multiple paths, which can be applied in microassembly. In order to control the deflection of links and the resultant path, active ionic polymer metal composite patches are fixed on the coupler and are actuated by a voltage (0–3 V direct current). The main focus of this article is to determine the number, size, and location of the ionic polymer metal composite patches to be used on the coupler to get a desired path. A dynamic model of the mechanism is made in ADAMS software and the design parameters are identified. A mathematical model of ionic polymer metal composite patch is developed through experiments to achieve the bending moment relationship with voltage, and this is used while simulating its behaviors. The simulation results show that the proposed mechanism can generate multiple paths, using different voltages for ionic polymer metal composite activation. The proposed mechanism is then fabricated, and experiments are carried out to compare the experimental and simulation results. It is proved that the proposed new mechanism is superior to earlier designs of four bars using ionic polymer metal composite, and the paths generated can more effectively be controlled.