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Proceedings Paper

Deployable structures using bistable reeled composites
Author(s): Andrew J. Daton-Lovett; Quentin M. Compton-Bishop; Richard G. Curry
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes an innovative, patented use of composite materials developed by RolaTube Technology Ltd. to make smart deployable structures. Bi-stable reeled composites (BRCs) can alternate between two stable forms; that of a strong, rigid structure and that of a compact coil of flat-wound material. Bi-stability arises as a result of the manipulation of Poisson's ratio and isotropy in the various layers of the material. BRCs are made of fiber- reinforced composite materials, most often with a thermoplastic matrix. A range of fibers and polymer matrices can be used according to the requirements of the operating environment. Samples of a BRC structure were constructed using layers of unidirectional, fiber-reinforced thermoplastic sheet with the layers at different angles. The whole assembly was then consolidated under conditions of elevated temperature and pressure. The properties of the BRC are described and the result of a series of experiments performed on the sample to determine the tensile strength of the BRC structure are reported. A full analysis using finite element methods is being undertaken in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, England. The first commercial use has been to fabricate boom and drive mechanisms for the remote inspection of industrial plant.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 June 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3992, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Active Materials: Behavior and Mechanics, (14 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.388250
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew J. Daton-Lovett, RolaTube Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Quentin M. Compton-Bishop, RolaTube Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Richard G. Curry, RolaTube Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3992:
Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Active Materials: Behavior and Mechanics
Christopher S. Lynch, Editor(s)

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