Design and performance of a resonant roller wedge actuator

Jeremy Frank, Gary H. Koopmann, Weicheng Chen, Eric Mockensturm, George A. Lesieutre

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A compact rotary motor driven by piezoelectric bimorph actuators was developed for applications in adaptive, conformable structures for flow control. Using a roller wedge (rotary roller clutch) as its central motion rectifying element, the actuator converts electrical power to mechanical power by way of a set of resonating bimorph/mass systems. With this type of resonant drive system, the output mechanical power of the actuator was dramatically improved over previous inchworm-type designs. Also, the actuator cost was kept low by using commercial roller clutches and bimorph actuators instead of PZT stacks. Within an application size constraint of 4 × 4 × 1.75 inches, the unloaded speed was 600 RPM, the stall torque was 0.5 N-m, and the peak output power was nearly 4 watts. The motor is driven by a single frequency sinusoidal input, resulting in significant improvements of the cost, size and complexity over typical piezoelectric actuator drivers. Since the backlash of the roller clutch is a critical parameter in assessing the motor performance, an experimental study was performed to better understand its dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-206
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2000
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2000 - Smart Structures and Integrated Systems - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Duration: Mar 6 2000Mar 9 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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