Fully compliant bistable mechanisms have been proposed to be used as threshold accelerometers. The advantages to using these devices are that they require no external power to operate and maintain their sensing state. Using this characteristic the devices can be integrated with passive radio frequency identification tags (RFID). This allows for the sensing package to lay dormant with no maintenance needed until the sensor is read by the RFID reader. This thesis presents a successfully fabricated and integrated threshold accelerometer with a passive RFID tag. This in turn has been successfully read with an RFID reader and shown to act as a wireless passive sensor indicating whether or not a threshold acceleration has been exceeded. It is shown that in general plastics are not a suitable material to use in threshold accelerometers due to variability in fabrication, temperature and prolonged stresses inducing stress relaxation in the material. Multiple methods for testing the switching forces of these threshold accelerometers are developed and a frequency response for the switching forces of these devices is explored. A straight-leg bistable mechanism design model is introduced and used to design metal bistable devices to reduce the variations seen in the plastic threshold accelerometers. With this metal design a new fabrication process is introduced to attain thin metal compliant flexures with little variation in the thickness of the compliant flexures. This method allows for a more economical method of producing compliant flexures. The metal bistable mechanism designs presented show significant improvement over the plastic bistable designs. These improvements include minimizing the effects of stress relaxation, minimizing variation in switching forces and minimizing variation between fabricated devices. The cost, however, with the metal bistable mechanism design would be more than the plastic bistable mechanism design.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





bistable, acceleration, sensor, shock, compliant, threshold, RFID, accelerometer, wireless