Kineto-elastodynamic analysis of high-speed four-bar mechanism
This thesis addresses the kineto-elastodynamic analysis of a four-bar mechanism running at high-speed where all links are assumed to be flexible. First, the mechanism, at static configurations, is considered as structure. Two methods are used to model the system, namely the finite element method (FEM) and the dynamic stiffness method. The natural frequencies and mode shapes at different positions from both methods are calculated and compared. The FEM is used to model the mechanism running at high-speed. The governing equations of motion are derived using Hamilton's principle. The equations obtained are a set of stiff ordinary differential equations with periodic coefficients. A model is developed whereby the FEM and the dynamic stiffness method are used conjointly to provide high-precision results with only one element per link. The principal concern of the mechanism designer is the behaviour of the mechanism at steady-state. Few algorithms have been developed to deliver the steady-state solution without resorting to costly time marching simulation. In this study two algorithms are developed to overcome the limitations of the existing algorithms. The superiority of the new algorithms is demonstrated. The notion of critical speeds is clarified and a distinction is drawn between "critical speeds", where stresses are at a local maximum, and "unstable bands" where the mechanism deflections will grow boundlessly. Floquet theory is used to assess the stability of the system. A simple method to locate the critical speeds is derived. It is shown that the critical speeds of the mechanism coincide with the local maxima of the eigenvalues of the transition matrix with respect to the rotational speed of the mechanism.