Modeling and design optimization of a bimorph-driven rotary motor

Jeremy E. Frank, Eric M. Mockensturm, Gary H. Koopmann, George A. Lesieutre, Weiching Chen, Jacob Y. Loverich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A bimorph-driven rotary motor has been developed, and demonstrated in a flow-control actuation application. A rotary (roller) clutch rectifies bimorph-powered oscillation into rotational motion to convert electrical to mechanical power. Through a progression of varied designs, the development process was based on experimentation and engineering intuition. The resulting motor satisfied the application requirements, and thirty-two actuators were supplied. To further exploit the possibilities of the bimorph-driven motor concept, a mathematical model was developed. Using empirical data collected from a prototype actuator and a roller clutch, the mathematical model was adjusted so that it predicted the power output of the prototype. The model was then used to tune the design parameters using nonlinear optimization techniques. The results predicted that the power density could be increased by more than 30 times. An improved prototype based on the optimization results demonstrated a significant performance improvement over the original design. Though the predicted improvement was not achieved, the power density was increased by a factor of 10.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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