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Proceedings Paper

An experimental and analytical study of a flow vectoring airfoil via macro-fiber-composite actuators
Author(s): Onur Bilgen; Kevin B. Kochersberger; Daniel J. Inman
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Paper Abstract

A type of piezoceramic composite actuator commonly known as Macro-Fiber-Composite (MFC) is used for actuation in a variable camber airfoil design. The study focuses on aerodynamic and kinematical modeling, and static response characterization under aerodynamic loads for three similar concepts. From a broader perspective, the study aims to understand the behavior of solid-state aerodynamic vectoring in high dynamic pressure air flow. Wind tunnel experiments and theoretical analysis is conducted on a 1.15% thick, 54 mm chord, and 108 mm span composite airfoil. The airfoil is fabricated from a fiberglass/epoxy composite material and actuated by six MFC actuators in a unimorph arrangement. Three support concepts are studied: 1) Airfoil hinged at its leading edge and at 50% chord; 2) Airfoil hinged at its leading edge the trailing edge; 3) Clamped-free airfoil. Wind tunnel results and XFOIL studies of the airfoil show comparable effectiveness to conventional actuation systems. Deformation of the airfoils due to pressure distribution is studied by finite element method. All concepts present adequate stiffness for flow speeds up to 30 m/s.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6930, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2008, 69300O (27 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.776448
Show Author Affiliations
Onur Bilgen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Kevin B. Kochersberger, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Daniel J. Inman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6930:
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2008
L. Porter Davis; Benjamin Kyle Henderson; M. Brett McMickell, Editor(s)

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