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Open AccessArticle

Optimal Magnetic Spring for Compliant Actuation—Validated Torque Density Benchmark

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
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MotionS core lab, Flanders Make, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
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DMMS core lab, Flanders Make, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an expanded version on: Mrak, B.; Lenaerts, B.; Driesen, W.; Desmet, W. Optimal Design of Magnetic Springs; Enabling High Life Cycle Elastic Actuators. In proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Magnetic Bearings (ISMB16), Beijing, China, 13–17 August 2018.
Actuators 2019, 8(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/act8010018
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Magnetic springs are a fatigue-free alternative to mechanical springs that could enable compliant actuation concepts in highly dynamic industrial applications. The goals of this article are: (1) to develop and validate a methodology for the optimal design of a magnetic spring and (2) to benchmark the magnetic springs at the component level against conventional solutions, namely, mechanical springs and highly dynamic servo motors. We present an extensive exploration of the magnetic spring design space both with respect to topology and geometry sizing, using a 2D finite element magnetostatics software combined with a multi-objective genetic algorithm, as a part of a MagOpt design environment. The resulting Pareto-optima are used for benchmarking rotational magnetic springs back-to-back with classical industrial solutions. The design methodology has been extensively validated using a combination of one physical prototype and multiple virtual designs. The findings show that magnetic springs possess an energy density 50% higher than that of state-of-the-art reported mechanical springs for the gigacycle regime and accordingly a torque density significantly higher than that of state-of-the-practice permanently magnetic synchronous motors. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnetic spring; optimal design; component benchmarking; compliant actuation; parallel elastic actuators (PEA); series elastic actuators (SEA) magnetic spring; optimal design; component benchmarking; compliant actuation; parallel elastic actuators (PEA); series elastic actuators (SEA)
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Mrak, B.; Lenaerts, B.; Driesen, W.; Desmet, W. Optimal Magnetic Spring for Compliant Actuation—Validated Torque Density Benchmark. Actuators 2019, 8, 18.

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