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Proceedings Paper

A new concept for active bistable twisting structures
Author(s): Marc R. Schultz
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Paper Abstract

A novel type of morphing structure capable of a large change in shape with a small energy input is discussed in this paper. The considered structures consist of two curved shells that are joined in a specific manner to form a bistable airfoil-like structure. The two stable shapes have a difference in axial twist, and the structure may be transformed between the stable shapes by a simple snap-through action. The benefit of a bistable structure of this type is that, if the stable shapes are operational shapes, power is needed only to transform the structure from one shape to another. The discussed structures could be used in aerodynamic applications such as morphing wings, or as aerodynamic control surfaces. The investigation discussed in this paper considers both experiment and finite-element analysis. Several graphite-epoxy composite and one steel device were created as proof-of-concept models. To demonstrate active control of these structures, piezocomposite actuators were applied to one of the composite structures and used to transform the structure between stable shapes. The analysis was used to compare the predicted shapes with the experimental shapes, and to study how changes to the geometric input values affected the shape and operational characteristics of the structures. The predicted shapes showed excellent agreement with the experimental shapes, and the results of the parametric study suggest that the shapes and the snap-through characteristics can be easily tailored to meet specific needs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5764, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (17 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.598445
Show Author Affiliations
Marc R. Schultz, Composite Technology Development, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5764:
Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Alison B. Flatau, Editor(s)

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