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Proceedings Paper

Automated Production Of Smart Structures
Author(s): Mary L. Bowden; Jerome P. Fanucci; Stephen C. Nolet
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Paper Abstract

American Composite Technology has conducted an investigation of materials and processing methods suitable for the automated production of smart structures. This program differs from many other investigations of smart structures in that equal emphasis was placed on producibility issues and performance of the structural system. For the study, a two inch diameter graphite/epoxy tube was used as a baseline structure to represent a single component of a space truss. This baseline tube was designed to have "smart" control of both shape and damping characteristics. A wide variety of materials for use as sensors, actuators and communications networks were investigated, and a number of the most promising candidates were identified. Compatibility with the pultrusion process was a major criterion for the selection of optimum material combinations. Pultrusion is the composite processing technology identified as being the most suited for automating the production of tubular graphite/epoxy structural members while simultaneously integrating the smart hardware. Two alternative designs were studied. A near term solution employing current technology would use resistance strain gauges for sensors and piezoelectric crystals as actuators. A solution based on evolving technology might employ fiber optic sensors and shape memory metal actuators. Use of fiber optics for sensing would probably require significant advances in signal processing capability to allow the system to respond in real time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 February 1990
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 1170, Fiber Optic Smart Structures and Skins II, (5 February 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.963096
Show Author Affiliations
Mary L. Bowden, American Composite Technology (United States)
Jerome P. Fanucci, American Composite Technology (United States)
Stephen C. Nolet, American Composite Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1170:
Fiber Optic Smart Structures and Skins II
Eric Udd, Editor(s)

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