A Novel SMA-based Concept for Airfoil Structural Morphing

Barbarino, S.; Pecora, R.; Lecce, L.; Concilio, A.; Ameduri, S.; Calvi, E.
October 2009
Journal of Materials Engineering & Performance;Oct2009, Vol. 18 Issue 5/6, p696
Academic Journal
The adaptive structures concept is of great interest in the aerospace field because of the several benefits which can be accomplished in the fields including noise reduction, load alleviation, weight reduction, etc., at a level in which they can be considered as compulsory in the design of future aircraft. Improvements in terms of the aerodynamic efficiency, aeroelastic behavior, stability, and manoeuvrability performance have already been proved through many international studies in the past. In the family of the Smart Materials, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) seem to be a suitable solution for many static applications. Their high structural integrability in conjunction with actuation capabilities and a favorable performance per weight ratio, allows the development of original architectures. In this study, a morphing wing trailing edge concept is presented; morphing ability was introduced with the aim of replacing a conventional flap device. A compliant rib structure was designed, based on SMA actuators exhibiting structural potential (bearing external aerodynamic loads). Numerical results, achieved through a FE approach, are presented in terms of trailing edge induced displacement and morphed shape.


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