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Proceedings Paper

Experimental and finite element analyses of multifunctional skins for morphing wing applications
Author(s): Sebastian Geier; Markus Kintscher; Thorsten Mahrholz; Peter Wierach; Hans-Peter Monner; Martin Wiedemann
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Paper Abstract

As a consequence of operational efficiency because of rising energy costs, future transport systems need to be mission-adaptive. Especially in aircraft design the limits of lightweight construction, reduced aerodynamic drag and optimized propulsion are pushed further and further. The first two aspects can be addressed by using a morphing leading edge. Great economic advantages can be expected as a result of gapless surfaces which feature longer areas of laminar flow. Instead of focusing on the kinematics, which are already published in a great number of varieties, this paper emphasizes as major challenge, the qualification of a multi-material layup which meets the compromise of needed stiffness, flexibility and essential functions to match the flight worthiness requirements, such as erosion shielding, impact safety, lighting protection and de-icing. It is the aim to develop an gapless leading edge device and to prepare the path for higher technology readiness levels resulting in an airborne application. During several national and European projects the DLR developed a gapless smart droop nose concept, which functionality was successfully demonstrated using a two-dimensional 5 m in span prototype in low speed (up to 50 m/s) wind tunnel tests. The basic structure is made of commercially available and certified glass-fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP, Hexcel Hexply 913). This paper presents 4-point bending tests to characterize the composite with its integrated functions. The integrity and aging/fatigue issues of different material combinations are analyzed by experiments. It can be demonstrated that only by adding functional layers the mentioned requirements such as erosion-shielding or de-icing can be satisfied. The total thickness of the composite skin increases by more than 100 % when required functions are integrated as additional layers. This fact has a tremendous impact on the maximum strain of the outer surface if it features a complete monolithic build-up. Based on experimental results a numerical model can be set up for further structural optimizaton of the multi-functional laminate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 2016
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9803, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016, 980328 (20 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2219357
Show Author Affiliations
Sebastian Geier, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Markus Kintscher, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Thorsten Mahrholz, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Peter Wierach, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Hans-Peter Monner, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Martin Wiedemann, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9803:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016
Jerome P. Lynch, Editor(s)

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