Su, Y.H. and Spearing, S.M.
Nonlinear buckling of microfabricated thin annular plates
Thin-Walled Structures, 42, (11), . (doi:10.1016/j.tws.2004.05.006).
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Annular plate structures are commonly used in MEMS devices, particularly in pumps and valves. In MEMS applications, large nonlinear deflections are routinely achieved. In this paper, the nonlinear buckling of a thin elastic annular plate under a compressive radial force acting in the plane of the plate is considered. Although the critical loads at which buckling starts can be determined by solving a linear eigenvalue problem, the large deflection behavior of a buckled plate beyond the critical loads can be described by the nonlinear theory proposed by von Kármán. The buckling loads of the annular plate for various boundary conditions are calculated and the post-buckling behaviors are examined. Interestingly, the buckling of an annular plate exhibits a supercritical pitchfork bifurcation. Thus, the post-buckling behavior is stable and will not collapse catastrophically. Several design implications for microfabricated structures, in particular microvalves, are also given.
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