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Development and characterization of a novel piezoelectric-driven stick-slip actuator with anisotropic-friction surfaces



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Piezoelectric actuators (PEA) hold the most promise for precision positioning applications due to their capability of producing extremely small displacements down to 10 pm (1 pm = 10-12 m) as well as their high stiffness and force output. The piezoelectric-driven stick-slip (PDSS) actuator, working on the friction-inertia concept, has the capacity of accomplishing an unlimited range of motion. It also holds the promises of simple configuration and low cost. On the other hand, the PDSS actuator has a relatively low efficiency and low loading capability, which greatly limits its applications. The purpose of this research is to improve the performance of the PDSS actuators by employing specially-designed working surfaces. The working surfaces, referred as anisotropic friction (AF) surfaces in this study, can provide different friction forces depending on the direction of relative motion of the two surfaces, and are used in this research to accomplish the aforementioned purpose. To fabricate such surfaces, two nanostructure technologies are employed: hot filament chemical vapour deposition (HFCVD) and ion beam etching (IBE). The HFCVD is used to deposit diamond on silicon substrates; and the IBE is used to etch the diamond crystalloid with a certain angle with respect to the coating surface to obtain an unsymmetrical-triangle microstructure. A PDSS actuator prototype containing the AF surfaces was developed in this study to verify the function of the AF surfaces and characterize the performance of PDSS actuators. The designed surfaces were mounted on the prototype; and the improvement in performance was characterized by conducting a set of experiments with both the normal isotropic friction (IF) surfaces and the AF surfaces, respectively. The results illustrate that the PDSS actuator with the AF surface has a higher efficiency and improved loading capability compared to the one with the IF surfaces. A model was also developed to represent the displacement of the novel PDSS actuator. The dynamics of the PEA and the platform were approximated by using a second order dynamic system. The pre-sliding friction behaviour involved was investigated by modifying the LuGre friction model, in which six parameters (Note that three parameters are used in the LuGre model) were employed to represent the anisotropic friction. By combining the PEA mechanism model, the modified friction model, and the dynamics of end-effector, a model for the PDSS actuator with the AF surface was developed. The model with the identified parameters was simulated in MATLAB Simulink and the simulation results obtained were compared to the experimental results to verify the model. The comparison suggests that the model developed in this study is promising to represent the displacement of the novel PDSS actuators with AF surfaces.



piezoelectric actuator, stick-slip, anisotropic friction, chemical vapor deposition, and ion beam etching



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering



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