Cross-Axis Flexural Pivot, Contact-Aided Compliant Mechanism, Chained-Beam-Constraint Model, Multi Software Framework


This paper reports the study of a planar Cross-Axis Flexural Pivot (CAFP) comprising an additional contact pair. The proposed device turns useful for applications requiring a revolute joint that behaves differently when deflecting clockwise/anti-clockwise. The presence of the contact pair reduces the free length of one flexures, resulting in a considerable increment of the overall joint stiffness. The pivot behaviour is investigated, for different load cases, via the ChainedBeam-Constraint Model (CBCM), namely an accurate method to be applied in large deflection problems. A framework comprising Matlab and ANSYS is developed for testing the CAFP performances in terms of rotational stiffness, parasitic shift and maximum stress, with different combinations of geometrical aspect ratios and contact extensions. Results achieved via CBCM for a pure rotation applied to the CAFP’s output link are then verified through Finite Element Analysis. The resulting performance maps show good agreement between the numerical results. Furthermore, the CBCM shows an improved computational efficiency, which is a crucial aspect for preliminary design steps. At last, direct comparison between simulations and experiments, developed by means of two custom test rigs, confirms the efficacy of the proposed design method for the modeling of contacts in large deflection problems.

Original Publication Citation

Bilancia, P., Berselli, G., Magleby, S., Howell, L., “On the Modeling of a Contact-Aided Cross-Axis Flexural Pivot,” Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 143,, 2020.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Mechanism and Machine Theory




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor