Composite chiral structures for morphing airfoils: Numerical analyses and development of a manufacturing process
This paper investigates complex composite cellular structures featuring a chiral topology with the ability to undergo large overall displacements with limited straining of its components. Numerical analyses are performed to exploit such properties in the design of a morphing airfoil. The advantages associated with the use of composites are investigated by comparing the numerical results with those obtained with a metallic structure. A manufacturing process is then developed to assemble the considered structural configurations using composite materials. The novel process developed is described as applied to the manufacturing of macro chiral components that are tested to evaluate their ability to undergo large deformations. Finally, detailed numerical models of the manufactured structures are presented as a possible approach to evaluate the strength of the proposed configuration. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.