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13 March 2019 Development of a conceptual demonstrator of a SMA-based Rotorcraft blade twist system
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Abstract
Blade geometry and stiffness variations lead to advantages that have been proved in several fields, from aerospace to turbomachinery. The advent of innovative materials as Shape Memory Alloys (SMA), have allowed non-conventional design approaches, targeting adaptive, smooth and extensive modifications of aerodynamic shapes and local stiffness. The Project “Shape Adaptive Blades for Rotorcraft Efficiency” (SABRE) within the EU program H2020, has the main objective of maturing blade morphing technologies and related processes, moving from the assessment of predictive codes integrated with novel philosophies of geometry alterations, till experimental validation within lab and wind tunnel environments. In this paper, an SMA demonstrator for active twist is proposed, aimed at modulating spanwise blade torsion angle for rotorcraft performance improvement. The idea is to combine the reference structure with embedded torque actuators. Quasi-steady operations are targeted because of the low frequency bandwidth of the addressed devices (under 1 Hz). Thus, single flight regimes are considered (hover, climb, forward flight). Actuation authority is a critical aspect for the proper design of that system. It is influenced by many geometrical and physical parameters like the cross section geometry or the materials Young modulus. The presented demonstrator is made of three main elements: an SMA rod system, structural elements representative of the blade body stiffness, and the connecting fixtures. An experimental campaign is carried out to verify the relations among alloys activation temperatures, induced stiffness levels, and forces and installation angles (pre-twist).
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Salvatore Ameduri, Antonio Concilio, Bernardino Galasso, and Antonio Gianvito "Development of a conceptual demonstrator of a SMA-based Rotorcraft blade twist system", Proc. SPIE 10965, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication IX, 109650H (13 March 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2511963
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