Displacement amplification mechanisms have been a topic of research for piezoelectric actuators for decades to overcome their significantly small strain, but still utilize their high power density, force, and efficiency. This paper further analyzes a nonlinear buckling mechanism to improve its efficiency, defined as the ratio of mechanical work output of the buckling actuator to the mechanical work output of the PZT actuator, as well as, employing two methods, preload and loading conditions, that improve its work output per cycle. This is accomplished by running a numerical analysis of the geometry of the flexure joints in the buckling mechanism which found a maximum mechanical efficiency of 48%. The preload is applied using shape memory alloy wire to exploit the low stiffness of the super elastic regime; which in turn allows a larger work output due to a loading condition supplied by a novel gear design. Finally, a prototype was fabricated to provide a baseline of comparison against these concepts.

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