Translator Disclaimer
16 May 2005 Variable stiffness materials for reconfigurable surface applications
Author Affiliations +
Reconfigurable and morphing structures can potentially provide a range of new functionalities including system optimization over broad operational conditions and multi-mission capability. Previous efforts in morphing surfaces have generally focused on small deformation of high stiffness structural materials (e.g. aluminum, CFRP) or large deformation of low stiffness non-structural materials (e.g. elastomers). This paper introduces a new approach to achieving large strains in materials with high elastic moduli (5 to 30+ GPa). The work centers on creating variable stiffness composite materials which exhibit a controllable change in elastic modulus (bending or axial) and large reversible strains (5-15%). Several prototype materials were prepared using a commercial shape memory polymer, and measurements on these materials indicate a controllable change in stiffness as a function of temperature along with large reversible strain accommodation. We have fabricated and tested several design variations of laminar morphing materials which exhibit structural stiffness values of 8-12 GPa, changes in modulus of 15-77x, and large reversible bending strain and recovery of 2% area change in specific sample types. Results indicate that significant controllable changes in stiffness are possible.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Geoff McKnight and Chris Henry "Variable stiffness materials for reconfigurable surface applications", Proc. SPIE 5761, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Active Materials: Behavior and Mechanics, (16 May 2005);

Back to Top