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An Antagonistic Flexural Unit Cell for Design of Shape Morphing Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Aarash Y. N. Sofla, Dana M. Elzey, Haydn N. G. Wadley

University of Virginia

Paper No. IMECE2004-62149, pp. 261-269; 9 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Aerospace
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4700-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


An antagonistic flexural unit cell (AFC) concept for the design and fabrication of novel 2-D and 3-D lightweight shape morphing structures is introduced. A fully reversible flexural shape changing cell utilizing opposing one-way shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators is shown to require no spring-like bias elements. The SMA actuating elements are arranged such that the actuation (contraction) of one of them stretches the other one in the cell, preparing it to be actuated later to reverse a flexural displacement. This antagonistic operation allows fully reversed cyclic operation. The focus of this paper is an assessment of performance at the single cell level. The cell logically provides four possible configurations in different stages of its cycle. Two of them are of particular interest because they provide two different fixed shapes for the cell that can be maintained without the continuous supply of external energy. The final deformations of the cell and equilibrium stresses in the SMA elements depend on the amount of stored shape memory strain in each element, external forces and cell geometry. A model is developed, which allows a full characterization of the AFC. The model is used to study NiTi SMA-based AFCs and the results are therefore directly applicable to the design of shape morphing structures using such unit cells.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Design , Shapes



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