Fatigue and Failure Behavior of Homogeneous and Reinforced Compliant Mechanism Segments


This paper presents a comprehensive study of the fatigue and failure behavior of both homogeneous and metallic-reinforced compliant segments. Baseline test results are presented for a homogeneous, fixed-free compliant segment constructed of thermoset urethane. The advantages of both polymeric and metallic materials for compliant mechanism construction are leveraged by designing and testing compliant test specimens containing a polymer casing and a metallic reinforcing element. Results obtained from fatigue testing of fixed-free compliant segments in a cyclic loading configuration show that the metallic-reinforced compliant specimens offer superior fatigue performance when compared to the homogeneous baseline specimens. Fractography, both macroscopic and microscopic, is used for a qualitative assessment of the failure behavior. This vein of research is undertaken using metallic reinforcement (inserts) toward the development of a new class of compliant mechanisms with significantly greater performance, particularly insofar as the problems of fatigue and creep are concerned.

Meeting Name

ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2018 (2018: Aug. 26-29, Quebec, Canada)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Design; Failure (mechanical); Fatigue of materials; Fatigue testing; Fracture mechanics; Mechanisms; Metals; Polymers; Reinforcement; Safety engineering; Failure behaviors; Fatigue performance; Loading configuration; Macroscopic and microscopic; Metallic material; Metallic reinforcements; Qualitative assessments; Reinforcing elements; Compliant mechanisms

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2018