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Impact dynamics of rough and surface protected MEMS gears

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journal contribution
posted on 14.10.2013, 10:16 authored by M. Teodorescu, Stephanos TheodossiadesStephanos Theodossiades, Homer Rahnejat
The paper provides an analysis of dynamics of micro-gear pairs, typically used in an assortment of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices. It includes a mathematical hierarchical model of the impact dynamics of meshing gear teeth. It comprises the nanoscopic effect of asperity tips’ adhesion for relatively rough surfaces on a microscopic level (overall contact domain). The analysis is extended to the depletion of long chain molecule Self-assembled molecules (SAM) in impact behaviour of meshing gear-teeth pairs. The analyses show that for the usual high operating speeds of MEMS gears, due to high impact velocities, the role of asperity tips’ adhesion is quite insignificant. However, the same is not true for lower impact velocities, which would occur under start-up, run-up to normal operating speeds or during deccelerative motions. The paper proposes a novel spectral-based approach to predict the degradation of the protective SAM layer between meshing teeth, while the mechanism is in continual relative motion.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


TEODORESCU, M., THEODOSSIADES, S. and RAHNEJAT, H., 2009. Impact dynamics of rough and surface protected MEMS gears. Tribology International, 42 (2), pp.197-205.


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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Tribology International. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published at: