abstract:The flexspline for a harmonic drive must be flexible in the radial direction for the elastic deforma...
The flexspline for a harmonic drive must be flexible in the radial direction for the elastic deformation, but must be stiff in the torsional direction for accurate transmission of rotational motion. Since these requirements cannot be satisfied simultaneously with conventional metals such as steel or aluminium, in this work the carbon fiber epoxy composite material was employed for the flexspline material in order to increase the torsional stiffness by tailoring the stacking sequence and to improve the manufacturing productivity by moulding rather than machining.
The toothed composite flexspline was manufactured with the elastomeric cascade tooling that is composed of the steel tooth die, the silicon rubber mandrel and the cone-shaped steel core. Also, the steel flexspline with the same dimensions of the composite flexspline was manufactured by CNC wire cutting method.
The static and dynamic performances of the composite flexspline and the steel flexspline were experimentally tested. From the test results, it was found that the developed composite flexspline had better flexibility in the radial direction and high damping capacity at the fundamental natural frequency.