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Design of a Morphing Skin by Optimizing a Honeycomb Structure With a Two-Phase Material Infill

[+] Author Affiliations
John Puttmann, Richard Beblo

University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, OH

James Joo, Brian Smyers, Gregory Reich

Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH

Paper No. SMASIS2012-8131, pp. 169-175; 7 pages
  • ASME 2012 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Development and Characterization of Multifunctional Materials; Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems; Structural Health Monitoring
  • Stone Mountain, Georgia, USA, September 19–21, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4509-7
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


For morphing wing skin applications, low in-plane stiffness is advantageous to reduce the cost of actuation and high out-of-plane stiffness is required to withstand the aerodynamic loads. A proposed solution is to engineer a composite material made of a honeycomb support combined with a multi-state infill that can reduce the Young’s modulus for a low in-plane stiffness. Assuming thin beam theory and using the potential energy formulation, equivalent in-plane Young’s moduli can be calculated for a range of honeycomb cell geometries. The out-of-plane deflection of a representative plate fixed on all edges is calculated using flat plate theory and used to assess the performance of the skin system. To optimize the cell geometry for a given application, the out-of-plane deflection is constrained and the honeycomb cell geometry varied to investigate the design space. Results show that a skin can be designed to have in-plane Young’s moduli similar to the polymer infill and still have a low out-of-plane deflection. However, these results come at the expense of increased skin weight. Further analysis to obtain a more realistic design is done by imposing weight and geometric constraints.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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