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Micromachines 2017, 8(10), 304;

A Micro-Force Sensor with Beam-Membrane Structure for Measurement of Friction Torque in Rotating MEMS Machines

Key Laboratory of Thin Film and Optical Manufacturing Technology, Ministry of Education, Xi’an Technological University, Xi’an 710032, China
School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
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In this paper, a beam-membrane (BM) sensor for measuring friction torque in micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) gas bearings is presented. The proposed sensor measures the force-arm-transformed force using a detecting probe and the piezoresistive effect. This solution incorporates a membrane into a conventional four-beam structure to meet the range requirements for the measurement of both the maximum static friction torque and the kinetic friction torque in rotating MEMS machines, as well as eliminate the problem of low sensitivity with neat membrane structure. A glass wafer is bonded onto the bottom of the sensor chip with a certain gap to protect the sensor when overloaded. The comparisons between the performances of beam-based sensor, membrane-based sensor and BM sensor are conducted by finite element method (FEM), and the final sensor dimensions are also determined. Calibration of the fabricated and packaged device is experimentally performed. The practical verification is also reported in the paper for estimating the friction torque in micro gas bearings by assembling the proposed sensor into a rotary table-based measurement system. The results demonstrate that the proposed force sensor has a potential application in measuring micro friction or force in MEMS machines. View Full-Text
Keywords: beam-membrane structure; micro-force sensor; MEMS bearing; friction torque beam-membrane structure; micro-force sensor; MEMS bearing; friction torque

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Liu, H.; Yu, Z.; Liu, Y.; Fang, X. A Micro-Force Sensor with Beam-Membrane Structure for Measurement of Friction Torque in Rotating MEMS Machines. Micromachines 2017, 8, 304.

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