The load/deflection behavior of pretensioned cable/pulley transmission mechanisms
Snow, Edward R.
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Mechanical transmission mechanisms enable a designer to match the abilities (e .g. velocity, torque capacity) of an actuator to the needs of an application. Unfortunately the mechanical limitations of the transmission (e.g. stiffness, backlash, friction, etc.) often become the source of new problems. Therefore identifying the best transmission option for a particular application requires the designer to be familiar with the inherent characteristics of each type of transmission mechanism. In this thesis we model load/deflection behavior of one particular transmission option; closed circuit cable/pulley transmissions. Cable drives are well suited to force and position control applications because of their unique combination of zero backlash motion, high stiffness and low friction. We begin the modelling process by determining the equilibrium elongation of a cable wrapped around a nonrotating pulley during loading and unloading. These results enable us to model the load/deflection behavior of the open circuit cable drive. Using the open circuit results we model the more useful closed circuit cable drive. We present experimental results which confirm the validity of both cable drive models and then extend these models to multistage drives. We end by discussing the use of these models in the design of force and position control mechanisms and comment on the limitations of these models.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution December 1993
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