Analysis of Thermally Induced Multistable Composites

F Mattioni, PM Weaver, KD Potter & MI Friswell (University of Bristol)

International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 45, No. 2, January 2008, pp. 657-675


This paper models the nonlinear flexural response of laminates that have piecewise variation of lay-up in the planform, using finite element analysis. Attention is focused on the effects that thermal stresses have on the potential multiple shapes of a composite structure. Unsymmetric laminates may possess more than a single equilibrium configuration, and during the cool-down the solution thus bifurcates at a critical temperature. In static analyses, numerical solutions are often coaxed to converge into one or the other branch of the solution. A methodology to overcome this problem is presented. Such modelling is necessary to allow application of multistable composite within morphing aircraft structures as multistable composites could provide a viable solution for the realisation of shape-adaptable structures.

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Link to paper using doi:10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2007.08.031

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