Static deformation modeling and analysis of flexure hinges made of a shape memory alloy

Zhijiang Du, Miao Yang, Wei Dong, Dan Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The flexure hinge is a key element in compliant mechanisms to achieve continuous motion; however the motion range of a flexure hinge is severely restricted by the material's allowable strain. Due to the superelasticity effect, shape memory alloys (SMAs) can undergo much larger strain than other metals; this means that they are excellent candidates for the fabrication of flexure hinges with a large motion range. In this paper, a simple static deformation modeling approach is proposed for a flexure hinge made of a SMA. The superelastic behavior of the SMA is described by Brinson's constitutive model. The flexure hinge is considered as a non-prismatic cantilever beam associated with geometrical and material nonlinearities. Govern equations of the flexure hinge are derived and solved numerically by applying the nonlinear bending theory of the Euler-Bernoulli beam. Experimental tests show that the proposed modeling approach can predict the deformation of the flexure hinge precisely; the maximum relative error is less than 6.5%. Based on the static deformation model, the motion capacity, the stiffness characteristic and the rotational error of the flexure hinge are also investigated. The results reveal that the flexure hinge made of a SMA has great potential to construct compliant mechanisms with a large motion range.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115029
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • flexure hinge
  • geometry nonlinearity
  • shape memory alloy
  • superelastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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