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Finite element analysis (FEA) and design optimisation of a pneumatically actuating silicone module for robotic surgery applications

Elsayed, Y, Vincensi, A, Lekakou, C, Geng, T, Saaj, CM, Ranazani, T, Cianchetti, M and Menciassi, A (2014) Finite element analysis (FEA) and design optimisation of a pneumatically actuating silicone module for robotic surgery applications Soft Robotics, 1 (4). pp. 255-262.

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The design of a pneumatically actuated silicone module, resembling soft tissue, with three pneumatic chambers is considered and optimized in this study with the aim of using it in a soft robot arm for robotic surgery applications. Three types of silicone materials, Ecoflex 0030 and 0050 and Dragonskin 0030, have been investigated, and a constitutive model has been derived for each of them. Design optimization of the silicone module was based on finite element analysis (FEA) that was validated against experimental data of one-degree bending under one-channel actuation. This was followed by FEA parametric studies for module design optimization to minimize the ballooning effect in one-degree bending as well as reduce the actuation pressure. Modules made from Ecoflex 0030 and Ecoflex 0050 exhibited the same bending shape in FEA, but about three times higher actuation pressure was required for the harder Ecoflex 0050. Design parameters under investigation in the parametric FEA studies included the shape of the pneumatic channel cross section, the ratio of channel length to module length, the distance of channel from the module wall, and the ratio of channel to module cross-sectional area. After FEA design optimization yielded least ballooning for pneumatic chambers of semicircular cross section, an internal dragonskin structure was added internally below the module surface to enable and guide the bending under one-channel pneumatic actuation and further contain the ballooning effect: the benefits of this design were successfully verified under both FEA and experimental analysis.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Elsayed, Y
Vincensi, A
Geng, T
Ranazani, T
Cianchetti, M
Menciassi, A
Date : 23 December 2014
OA Location : 10.1089/soro.2014.0016
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2014
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:37
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:47

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