A motion amplifier using an axially driven buckling beam: II. Modeling and analysis

Jie Jiang, Eric Mockensturm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper, the nonlinear behavior of a motion amplifier used to obtain large rotations from small linear displacements produced by a piezoelectric stack is studied. The motion amplifier uses elastic (buckling) and dynamic instabilities of an axially driven buckling beam. Since the amplifier is driving a large rotary inertia at the pinned end and the operational frequency is low compared to the resonant frequencies of the beam, the mass of the buckling beam and the dynamics of the PZT stack are neglected and the system is modeled as a single-degree-of-freedom, nonlinear system. The beam simply behaves as a nonlinear rotational spring having a prescribed displacement on the input end and a moment produced by the inertial mass acting on the output end. The moment applied to the mass is then a function of the beam end displacement and the mass rotation. The system can, thus, be modeled simply as a base-excited, spring-mass oscillator. Results of the response for an ideal beam using this reduced-order model agree with the experimental data to a high degree. Inclusion of loading and geometric imperfections show that the response is not particularly sensitive to these imperfections. Parameter studies for the ideal buckling beam amplifier were conducted to provide guidance for improving the design of the motion amplifier and finding the optimal operating conditions for different applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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