Active fibre-reinforced composites with embedded shape memory alloys

Daghia, Federica (2008) Active fibre-reinforced composites with embedded shape memory alloys, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Meccanica delle strutture, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/962.
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This dissertation concerns active fibre-reinforced composites with embedded shape memory alloy wires. The structural application of active materials allows to develop adaptive structures which actively respond to changes in the environment, such as morphing structures, self-healing structures and power harvesting devices. In particular, shape memory alloy actuators integrated within a composite actively control the structural shape or stiffness, thus influencing the composite static and dynamic properties. Envisaged applications include, among others, the prevention of thermal buckling of the outer skin of air vehicles, shape changes in panels for improved aerodynamic characteristics and the deployment of large space structures. The study and design of active composites is a complex and multidisciplinary topic, requiring in-depth understanding of both the coupled behaviour of active materials and the interaction between the different composite constituents. Both fibre-reinforced composites and shape memory alloys are extremely active research topics, whose modelling and experimental characterisation still present a number of open problems. Thus, while this dissertation focuses on active composites, some of the research results presented here can be usefully applied to traditional fibre-reinforced composites or other shape memory alloy applications. The dissertation is composed of four chapters. In the first chapter, active fibre-reinforced composites are introduced by giving an overview of the most common choices available for the reinforcement, matrix and production process, together with a brief introduction and classification of active materials. The second chapter presents a number of original contributions regarding the modelling of fibre-reinforced composites. Different two-dimensional laminate theories are derived from a parent three-dimensional theory, introducing a procedure for the a posteriori reconstruction of transverse stresses along the laminate thickness. Accurate through the thickness stresses are crucial for the composite modelling as they are responsible for some common failure mechanisms. A new finite element based on the First-order Shear Deformation Theory and a hybrid stress approach is proposed for the numerical solution of the two-dimensional laminate problem. The element is simple and computationally efficient. The transverse stresses through the laminate thickness are reconstructed starting from a general finite element solution. A two stages procedure is devised, based on Recovery by Compatibility in Patches and three-dimensional equilibrium. Finally, the determination of the elastic parameters of laminated structures via numerical-experimental Bayesian techniques is investigated. Two different estimators are analysed and compared, leading to the definition of an alternative procedure to improve convergence of the estimation process. The third chapter focuses on shape memory alloys, describing their properties and applications. A number of constitutive models proposed in the literature, both one-dimensional and three-dimensional, are critically discussed and compared, underlining their potential and limitations, which are mainly related to the definition of the phase diagram and the choice of internal variables. Some new experimental results on shape memory alloy material characterisation are also presented. These experimental observations display some features of the shape memory alloy behaviour which are generally not included in the current models, thus some ideas are proposed for the development of a new constitutive model. The fourth chapter, finally, focuses on active composite plates with embedded shape memory alloy wires. A number of di®erent approaches can be used to predict the behaviour of such structures, each model presenting different advantages and drawbacks related to complexity and versatility. A simple model able to describe both shape and stiffness control configurations within the same context is proposed and implemented. The model is then validated considering the shape control configuration, which is the most sensitive to model parameters. The experimental work is divided in two parts. In the first part, an active composite is built by gluing prestrained shape memory alloy wires on a carbon fibre laminate strip. This structure is relatively simple to build, however it is useful in order to experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of the concept proposed in the first part of the chapter. In the second part, the making of a fibre-reinforced composite with embedded shape memory alloy wires is investigated, considering different possible choices of materials and manufacturing processes. Although a number of technological issues still need to be faced, the experimental results allow to demonstrate the mechanism of shape control via embedded shape memory alloy wires, while showing a good agreement with the proposed model predictions.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Daghia, Federica
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
adaptive structures fibre-reinforced composites shape memory alloys
Data di discussione
21 Maggio 2008

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