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152

Vol 03, Issue 02; May-June 2012

International Journal of Mechanical Engineering applications Research IJMEAR

http://technicaljournals.org

ISSN: 2249- 6564

DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF MAGNETORHEOLOGICAL GRIPPER


FOR HANDLING VARIOUS SHAPED PRODUCTS
SARALA.S1,*, VIJAYA.A2
1PG Scholar, School of Mechanical Engineering, SRM University, Katangaluthur
2Faculty, School of Mechanical Engineering, SRM University, Katangaluthur
ssarala1@gmail.com, avijaya.ravikumar@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
The main purpose is to show how Magnetorheological Robot gripper can be used to provide the necessary force
on the product without deforming the shape of the soft objects even in the absence of sensors. When MR Fluid
subjected to a magnetic field, the fluid greatly increases its viscosity. This can be controlled by varying the
magnetic field intensity. The fluid's ability to transmit force can be controlled with an electromagnet, which
gives rise to the control of Robot Gripper. It provides the effective Gripping design method to reduce cost. The
Gripper access rapid mechanism with low cost reduces number of Gripper design for each product and it
provides resolving of Gripping Forces automatically. This Magnetorheological Robot Gripper concept is of
value to both for researchers who are investigating the Handling of food products in industry and Robot
Gripper for Bore-well Rescue.
Keywords - Gripper, Flexible, Robot, Magnetorheological,Fluid (MR-Fluid), Magnetorheological,Gripper,
Fragile objects-vegetables, Electromagnet
Introduction
The term "magnetorheological fluid" comes from a combination of magneto, meaning magnetic, and rheo, the
prefix for the study of deformation of matter under applied stress. Magneto-rheological fluid(MRF) is a fluid,
when subjected to a magnetic field it greatly increases its viscosity, becoming a visco-elastic solid. Importantly,
the stress of the fluid, in its active state can be controlled accurately by varying the magnetic field intensity.
The fluid's ability to transmit force can be controlled with an electromagnet, which gives rise to its many
possible control-based applications.
Iron ore in oil reacts pretty much the way it reacts without the oil. Only one thing is really different. The oil
allows the powder to slump more easily than it can when dry. This is because of its extra weight, its lubricating
ability, its viscosity, and the fact that the ore is more buoyant in oil than in air. When a magnet is placed on the
side of a jar of iron ore powder, the powder arranges itself into strings. Each grain of powder becomes a
magnet and attracts the opposite pole if its neighbor. The strings thus formed repel each another, and the
powder expands. If the powder has been mixed with oil, the oil wicks into the spaces created by the expansion,
and sticks there by surface tension. The result is a dry appearing solid that does not leak oil. The structure of
particles in an MR fluid gradually changes when an alternating magnetic field is applied. The leftmost picture
shows an MR fluid after 1 second of exposure to a fast-changing magnetic field. The suspended particles form
a strong, fibrous network. The pictures to the right show the fluid after 3 minutes, 15 minutes and 1 hour of
exposure. The particles have formed clumps that offer little structural support. The Magnetorheological fluid
pouch consists of MRF which consists of Carbonyl Iron particles scattered in the carrier oil, the MR-Fluid
property occurs whenever magnetic field is applied. Stress due to the magnetic field in the fluid forms the
elongation and compression of Fluid pouch. A main advantage of the magnetorheological gripper is that the
force at gripping is spread evenly over a large surface by the rubber pouches, greatly reducing the risk of
bruising. Compared with other soft materials, that can be used on gripper surfaces, the fluid filled pouches
have an unbeatable ability to maximize contact surface area.
Electromagnet: Coil of current carrying wire usually wound around a soft iron core that becomes magnetized
when current passes through the wire and demagnetized when the current stops.
EMU Specifications are given below in Table1
An electromagnetic field (also EMF or EM field) is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged
objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends
indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. The field can be viewed as the
combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and
the magnetic field by moving charges (currents), these two are often described as the sources of the field.
Gripper: Gripping and holding of objects are key tasks for robotic manipulators. The grasping hand of the
robot which manipulates objects and tools to fulfil a given task. The development of universal grippers able to

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153
Vol 03, Issue 02; May-June 2012

International Journal of Mechanical Engineering applications Research IJMEAR

http://technicaljournals.org

ISSN: 2249- 6564

pick up unfamiliar objects of widely varying shape and surface properties remains, however challenging. Most
current designs are based on the multifingered hand, but in our concept Gripper with the Magneto rheological
fluid pouch attachment with two jaws is introduced.
Grip strength is the force applied by the hand to pull on or suspend from objects and is a specific part of hand
strength. Optimum-sized objects permit the hand to wrap around a cylindrical shape with a diameter from one
to three inches. Stair rails are an example of where shape and diameter are critical for proper grip in case of a
fall. Other grip strengths that have been studied are the hammer and other hand tools.
Table1 EMU Specification
EMU-50
Field Intensity

7.5KG at 10mm air-gap with flat pole pieces

Pole Pieces

50mm diameter

Energizing Coils

Two, each with a resistance of about 3.0W

Power Requirement

0-30Vdc, 4A, if coils are connected in series

Weight
33Kg
The type of gripper jaws which is used generally has a major role in determining the force which is required in
the functioning of a gripper. The gripper jaws are generally of 2 types or are found in two styles:i)Friction grip
ii)Encompassing grip.
While the encompassing style is generally preferred over the friction grip because it provides more strength
and is stable, the dimension that the jaw encompasses the gripper part should be deducted from the gripping
stroke. The geometric attributes (features) which may be used to construct the grasp model in terms of object
recognition resultant, such as position and orientation of the object.
Gripper types: The Four different types of Gripper are the Clapper, Two-Pincher Gripper, Flexible Finger
Grippers and Wrist Rotation. The Clapper Can be built using Metal, Plastic or Wood. Two-pinch Gripper has
two movable fingers. Flexible Finger Gripper has the capacity to contour the grasp to match the object, we can
approximate the compliant grip by making articulated fingers for robot. Most arm designs just want to rotate
the gripper at the Wrist Rotation is usually preformed by a motor attached at the end of the arm or at the base.
One should differentiate between grasping (prehension) and holding (retention) forces. This is important as
these are the most used type of gripper in industry. The grasping force is applied at the initial point of
prehension (during the grasping process), while the holding force maintains the grip thereafter (until object
release). In general, the retention force may be weaker than the prehension force. This is because the grasping
force is determined by the energy required from the mechanical motion. Robot grippers may be categorized in
broadest manner. Also gripper classified into three types which is mechanical finger, vacuum and magnetic,
and universal grippers.
Design of Magnetorheological gripper
Design of magnetorheological gripper attached with electromagnets is shown in Figure1.

Figure1 Design of Magnetorheological Gripper


The parallel jaw gripper has at least two fingers made of aluminium with 2mm thickness,50mm length, which
can be moved towards each other along one axis. When the MR fluid filled pouches reach the sides of the
product the pouches will start to deform, without stretching the pouch material. The Magnetorheological fluid
causes force on the product without deforming the shape of the soft objects. This force is produced when MR
Fluid subjected to a magnetic field and the fluid greatly increases its viscosity. This can be controlled by
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International Journal of Mechanical Engineering applications Research IJMEAR

ISSN: 2249- 6564

varying the magnetic field intensity. The fluid's ability to transmit force can be controlled with an
electromagnet with electromagnetic coil and soft iron pole pieces. Gripping force of the object can be
calculated by pulling force of an object. To calculate the pulling force a setup is made such that the object is
pulled when certain force applied by adding weights. The object has been pulled and checked before start of the
setup. The magnetorheological fluid pouch is attached as like the size of the gripper in the first figure, coming
to the next case horizontal packs of MRF pockets are present. The efficiency of both the models can be
determined by the experimental verification. It includes the study of grippers, electromagnet and the physical
parameters associated with them. Parameters such as the maximum distance between the two jaws of the
Gripper, thickness of the material, its physical movement and other things are taken care of.
The gripper was tested in lab condition which includes gripping different materials with the friction grip
and the encompassing grip. It is achieved by the Electromagnetic coil setup. The Gripping Force is tested by
the pulling force, also the force exerted by the MRF pouch due to the iron particles present inside and the
action of electromagnetic field generated by the electromagnet.

Figure2 Schematic Representation


The figure2 shows the Electromagnetic setup with the gripper assembled with MR-Fluid Pouch and the object
is connected to the weights through the string. Since the weights have some limitation while experimentation it
is better to use spring balance to pull the object and thus to find the Gripping Force through pulling force. The
proportionality of pulling force, gripping force and mass are direct. So it is calculated in terms of the unit of
mass(grams).
Preparation of Magnetorheological Fluid
The Magnetorheological Fluid is prepared by using the carbonyl iron particles of size 1 to 10microns along
with the carrier oil, Because greater size particles may settle down and lesser size may float . Spherical iron
particles are used to avoid the dust float at the top. 80% in total weight is Iron particles, Carrier Fluid is Caster
Oil of 10%, Emulsifiers of about 5% each for dispersion, emulsifiers used are Sulphuric acid and Potassium
Hydroxide. Carbonyl Iron Particles and Carrier oil are mixed using stirrer for 1 hour, from 25 to 80 degree
celsius. Concentrated Sulphuric acid and Potassium Hydroxide is added. Fluid is left for 24 hours to cool.
It includes the testing the properties of Magnetorheological Fluid with respect to the magnetic field produced
by the electromagnets. The maximum gripping force is calculated by the amount of minimum pulling force
required to remove the object from the Gripping force produced by the Gripper. Hence the magnetorheological
fluid pouch is present even Friction grip acts as encompassing grip.
The Magnetorheological fluid is packed finally in the Ziploc material to avoid flow outside the bag. When the
MR fluid filled pouches reach the sides of the product the pouches will start to deform, without stretching the
pouch material, and shape to the products contours as the low viscous MR fluid flows out of the way. The
gripper arms will be stopped at a predefined position, leaving a gap, between the magnet surface and the
product on each side.
Simulation of Magnetic Field
The magnetic fields function over the MRF pouch developed by the Electromagnet. The simulation result show
magnetic flux and which give rise to the specific force in specific direction. The simulation is possible by
FEMM software.
The Figure3 shows the simulation of Electomagnetic field in electromagnet, Ranges of magnetic field
magnetic field density is given as the Density plot in the right corner of the figure.
The Figure4 shows the simulation of Electomagnetic field in electromagnet with Magnetorheological Gripper.

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International Journal of Mechanical Engineering applications Research IJMEAR

ISSN: 2249- 6564

Figure3 Simulation of magnetic field in Electromagnet,


Figure4 Simulation of magnetic field in Electromagnet with Magnetorheological Gripper
Numerical Simulation of Electromagnetic Environment in FEMM
5.1 Changing Boundary Condition
Analysis started with the boundary condition, which was defined in one side and opposite side is found to be
null with zero boundary condition, other adjacent sides are undefined boundaries. It lead to the vertical field
lines and magnetic flux density B, does not match with the experimental data. The boundary condition defined
figure is shown below.

Figure5 Simulation by changing boundary condition


In the Figure5 the value of the flux density inside the Pure Iron specimen is found to be 1.85e^1 which is equal
to 5.02 which is not equal to the experimental data. Here the boundary condition is prescribed to be 1, but
during experimentation the experimental value for the magnetic flux density in Testla is not found to be equal
or apporoximately equal. Hence some other simulation way is determined with different boundary condition.
5.2 Mixed Boundary Condition
Figure6 Shows the mixed boundary condition. Hence the previous prescribed A method is not satisfied, now
the trial is done with mixed BC Boundary Condition. Usually mixed Bc is used in case of defining the arc
boundary. When the coefficient C0 is 0, the coefficient C1 is calculated as 2 using the radius of the outer
boundary.

Figure6 Simulation by using boundary condition


5.3 Changing Current density
The Pure Iron specimen is present at the centre which is equal in size with the experimental data where the
specimen is attached with the Gauss-meter. When the Current density is given as input the output of magnetic
flux density (T) is simulated.
Experiment is done using the Electromagnet and Gauss-meter. Figure7 shows the simulated result. The
specimen attached with the Gauss-meter is tested for its flux density. It gives the Gauss value where its input is

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International Journal of Mechanical Engineering applications Research IJMEAR

ISSN: 2249- 6564

in terms of Current in Ampere. The Magnetic flux density in Gauss can be converted into Testla using the
formula by diving 10,000. For example the value of 580G = 0.059T.F

Figure7 Simulation by changing Current Density


Figure8 This figure shows the Block Property which shows the method of changing current density values in
FEMM software.

Figure8 Block property


Same experiment is simulated using the simulation software FEMM. Here the source current input is given in
terms of Current density in MA/m^2, so, as the total area is found to be 55*50, the source current is converted
into milli-Ampere and divided by the Area mentioned 2,750. Now this calculated current density value is given
as the input in Block property and the simulated result for magnetic flux density is obtained in Testla.
Validation of Results with Experiments
Table2 Simulated and Magnetic Flux Density

Table2 shows the Current, the converted value of current into source current, which is then converted into the
current Density(MA/m^2). Also Simulated Magnetic flux density is shown along with the Experimental
magnetic Flux density. This correlates the simulated result with the experimental result.
Conclusion
Gripper having MR Fluid pouch with high viscous fluid produces required force around the product according
to its shape and size. Due to this the safety handling of variety of products can achieved. It provides the

2011 - TECHNICALJOURNALS, Peer Reviewed International Journals-IJCEA, IJESR, RJCSE, PAPER, ERL, IRJMWC, IRJSP,
IJEEAR, IJCEAR, IJMEAR, ICEAR, IJVES, IJGET, IJBEST TJ-PBPC, India;
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157
Vol 03, Issue 02; May-June 2012

http://technicaljournals.org

International Journal of Mechanical Engineering applications Research IJMEAR

ISSN: 2249- 6564

effective Gripping design method to reduce cost. The Gripper access works with low cost. It reduces the
number of Gripper design for each product and also provides respective Gripping Forces. It is easy to handle
Fragile objects like thin sheets, vegetables and other low dimension materials which require intelligent
handling.
MR-Pouches of different weights like 17gram,24gram can be used to get the different Gripping Force. From
this it also concluded that increase in size of MR-Pouch increases the gripping force.
References
[1]Pettersson .A., Davis .S., Gray .J.O ., Dodd .T.J. , Ohlsson .T.,2010, Design of MR robot Gripper for
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[3]Davis. S, Gray. J.O, Darwin .G. Caldwell.,2008, An end effector based on the Bernoulli-principle for
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[4]Steve Davis, John W. Casson, Rene J. Moreno Masey, Martin King, John O. Gray and Darwin G.
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135141.
[5]Lord Corporation, 2008. MRF-140CG Magneto-Rheological Fluid. Lord Technical
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[7]Besel, Michael N. "Automation." Microsoft Student 2007 [DVD].
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[11]http://www.robots.com/articles.php?tag=3501
[12]http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_6/chpt_2/9.html (electromagnetic circuit).
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[15]http://www.nextup.org/divers/csif_cem_emf.php (electromagnetic field).
[16]http://engineershandbook.com/Materials/aluminum.htm

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