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Limitations to Function Structures: A Case Study in Morphing Airfoil Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Jesse Schultz, Chiradeep Sen, Benjamin Caldwell, James Mathieson, Joshua D. Summers, Gregory M. Mocko

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Paper No. DETC2010-28559, pp. 405-417; 13 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 22nd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Special Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4413-7 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This paper presents an application of function structures in the design of single component morphing airfoils. A series of function structures are developed in an attempt to create an accurate model of a passively morphing airfoil. This paper describes each approach taken, while noting their modeling aspects that were successful or unsuccessful to identify representation features of existing function structure syntax and rules that relate to the usability of the models. System boundaries and definitions, function and flow definitions, carrier flows, and system state definitions are investigated. It was found that function structures in their current state, are incapable of accurately modeling the functionality of the shape changing aspect of a passively morphing airfoil. These limitations are identified and recommendations necessary to model artifacts similar to the morphing airfoil are presented. Finally, previous research efforts in the design of morphing airfoil technology are presented as solutions to certain key functions identified, thereby demonstrating the possible benefits of implementing function structures to this field.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Design , Airfoils



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