DOI: 10.3390/app132312825 ISSN: 2076-3417

Amplification Ratio of a Recycled Plastics-Compliant Mechanism Flexure Hinge

Tran Minh The Uyen, Pham Son Minh, Van-Thuc Nguyen, Thanh Trung Do, Hai Nguyen Le Dang, Van Thanh Tien Nguyen
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

This research focuses on the fabrication of plastic flexure hinges from diverse plastics such as ABS, PP, HDPE, and LDPE. To enhance hinge efficiency, the recycling ratios are also investigated. The amplification ratio of different recycle ratios and plastic types are measured. The results show that the input and output displacements of all PP, ABS, and HDPE hinges are linear. The presence of recycled plastics has no impact on this basis. The pure PP, ABS, and HDPE flexure hinges achieve the highest amplification ratios of 5.728, 8.249, and 5.668. The addition of recycled plastics reduces the amplification ratio. This decrease in the amplification ratio, however, is small. At a 25% recycle ratio, the PP, ABS, and HDPE flexure hinges have 12%, 13.3%, and 21.7% lower amplification ratios than the pure plastic hinges. Furthermore, the utilization of recycled plastics may lessen the need for new plastic made from raw materials. With the PP flexure hinge, a maximum input value of 157 µm could result in an output value of 886 µm. At a maximum input value of 115 µm, the ABS flexure hinge could achieve an output value of 833 µm. Finally, a maximum input value of 175 µm might result in an output value of 857 µm when using the HDPE flexure hinge. The average amplification ratio values for all recycling ratios for PP, ABS, and HDPE flexure hinges are, respectively, 5.35, 7.60, and 5.02. The ABS flexure hinge frequently outperforms the PP and HDPE flexure hinge in terms of amplification ratios. Among these plastics, HDPE flexure hinges have the lowest amplification ratio. In general, increasing the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) content of the LDPE/TPU blend increases the amplification ratio. The cause could be the TPU’s high compatibility with the LDPE polymer. The LDPE/TPU blend hinge offers a broader range of the amplification ratio of 2.85–10.504 than the PP, ABS, and HDPE flexure hinges. It is interesting that changing the blend percentage has a much greater impact on the amplification ratio than changing the recycling ratio. The findings broaden the range of applications for plastic flexure hinges by identifying optimal plastic types. The impact of the hinge shape on the performance of the injected plastic flexure hinge might be studied in further research.

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