Date of Award

10-2019

Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

College

College of Engineering

Advisor

Xi Wu

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering

Abstract

This thesis developed a novel theory of fiber jamming and experimentally verified it. The theory relates the performance, which is the ratio between the stiff and soft states of a fiber jamming chamber, to three relative design parameters: the ratio of the wall thickness to the membrane inner diameter, the ratio of the fiber diameter to membrane inner diameter, and the number of fibers. These three parameters, when held constant across different chamber sizes, hold the performance constant. To test the theory, three different types of fiber jamming chambers were built in three different sizes. Each chamber was set up as a cantilever beam and deflected 10mm in both the un-jammed (soft) and jammed (stiff) states. When the three design parameters were held constant, the performance of the chamber was consistent within 10\%. In contrast, when the parameters were altered, there was a statistically significant $p < .0001$ and noticeable effect on chamber performance. These two results can be used in tandem to design miniaturized fiber jamming chambers. These results also have a direct application in soft robots designed for minimally invasive surgery.

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