I'm trying to calculate the deflection of a stack of metallic disks, when subjected to a force.

In the case of the figure below, representing a valve for a shock absorber, the force is due to a pressure differential. The stack of disks (also called "shim") is represented in orange.

Deflection of a stack of disks in a valve, due to a pressure differential

I found a couple of papers that delve in this theme, but they all seem to be a direct citation of the following paper: "An Experimentally Validated Physical Model of a High-Performance Mono-Tube Damper", by Michael S. Talbott and John Starkey.

They briefly exemplify for a 3 disk stack, but actually explain very little of the method of computing the deflection of the stack as a function of force.

Using Roark's formulas for disk plates and the superposition method, one can obtain a system of equations to be solved, akin to:

$$\begin{gather} y_1 = z_{2,R12} + z_{2,R23} \\ y_2 = z_{3,R23} + z_{3,R34} \\ \vdots \end{gather}$$

where $y_i$ is the deflection at the outer radius of disk $i$, and $z_{i,Rkj}$ is the deflection of disk $i$ due to the reaction force between disks $k$ and $j$ (this is better explained in the papers).

I'm having trouble however in determining how the disks transfer forces between each others. It is assumed that two different disks only touch at the tip of the smallest one, the pressure difference is known and by using Roark's formulas one can calculate the reaction force at the base of one isolated disk.

I'm however unsure on what amount of force is transferred between disk 1 and disk 2, disk 2 and disk 3, etc.

Are there any papers or books that described this problem or a similar one (stacked disks, stacked beams, stacked plates, etc.) and that illustrate the solution method in greater detail?


The Radius of curvature on a beam bent under moment is $1/r = m/EI $

If we use this just as a rough model the m affecting each disk gradually becomes smaller as we go up and radius of curvature bigger. So it is safe to assume only the outer edge of each top disk touches the lower disk.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.