The design of structures and mechanisms subject to impact loading has historically involved designing in such a way as to minimize damage induced by the impact. This has historically been accomplished by absorbing and dissipating the energy of the impact. However, in some applications it is desirable to harness the energy and return it to the impacting object to maximize the coefficient of restitution (COR), resulting in large rebound velocities. The use of traditional rigid-body mechanisms to achieve high-COR mechanisms is limited by issues of friction, durability, poor strain-energy distribution and others. Compliant mechanisms do not possess the same limitations and are well-suited to these types of applications. The principles needed to realize these types of designs are found in existing literature but are confined to very specific applications such as hollow-body golf club heads. The contribution of this thesis is an approach to the generation and evaluation of compliant mechanism concepts for use in impact applications where a high COR is required. This approach is based loosely on common general concept development processes found in literature. This thesis describes the process of including the use of lumped mass or mechanical models, the categorization of strain-energy storage, the use of both closed-form and finite-element static models and the use of dynamic finite-element models to determine if a configuration is eligible to be used in a final design process. This thesis also contributes a case study in the development of configurations for metalwood golf club driver heads.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Compliant Mechanisms, Coefficient of Restitution, Concept Development