Special Section: Selected Papers from IDETC 2018

Thermal Prestress in Composite Compliant Shell Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
Jonathan P. Stacey

Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS),
Department of Aerospace Engineering,
University of Bristol,
Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
e-mail: jonathan.stacey@bristol.ac.uk

Matthew P. O'Donnell

Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS),
Department of Aerospace Engineering,
University of Bristol,
Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
e-mail: matt.odonnell@bristol.ac.uk

Mark Schenk

Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS),
Department of Aerospace Engineering,
University of Bristol,
Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
e-mail: m.schenk@bristol.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received October 15, 2018; final manuscript received January 4, 2019; published online February 22, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Andreas Mueller.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 11(2), 020908 (Feb 22, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: JMR-18-1376; doi: 10.1115/1.4042476 History: Received October 15, 2018; Revised January 04, 2019

This paper explores the ability to tailor the mechanical properties of composite compliant shell mechanisms, by exploiting the thermal prestress introduced during the composite laminate cure. An extension of an analytical tape spring model with composite thermal analysis is presented, and the effect of the thermal prestress is studied by means of energy landscapes for the cylindrical composite shells. Tape springs that would otherwise be monostable structures become bistable and exhibit greater ranges of low-energy twisting with thermally induced prestress. Predicted shell geometries are compared with finite element (FE) results and manufactured samples, showing good agreement between all approaches. Wider challenges around the manufacture of prestressed composite compliant mechanisms are discussed.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Polar plots of nondimensional energy Û as a function of tape spring twist, 2θ, on the angular axis and cylinder curvature, C, on the radial axis. Contours are plotted for Û values between 0.0 and 3.0 inclusive with intervals of 0.1. (a) shows the landscape for a [902/02] tape spring with manufactured radius R =38 mm with no thermal prestress; (b) shows the landscape for a thermally prestressed tape spring; and (c) shows the same landscape as (b), but for a misaligned layup of [882/02]. Points labeled with a cross indicate the stable state(s), and dots indicate unstable equilibria.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Postcure thermal strains produce a coiling-up moment, Mxth, in the longitudinal direction, and an opening-out moment, Myth, in the hoop direction

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Images of (a) twist angle measurement using a cloud of FE nodal positions and the underlying cylinder axis, and (b) the point cloud from the laser scan of sample R38T1

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Fig. 5

Polar plots of nondimensional energy Û as a function of tape spring twist, 2θ, on the angular axis and cylinder curvature, C, on the radial axis. Contours are plotted for Û values between 0.0 and 3.0 inclusive with intervals of 0.1. Subfigures show (a) R38T2, (b) R38T1, and (c) R50T1. All predict unstable on-tool configurations, with (a) and (b) being clear bistable twisted structures, and (c) almost a monostable coiled structure. Points indicated by a cross represent stable state(s) and dots indicate unstable equilibria.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Finite element predictions of (a) the unstable untwisted postwarp shape, and (b) the stable twisted shape for a [90/0] layup with tool radius R =38 mm

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Fig. 6

Photos of sample R50T1 showing: (a) its original monostable configuration, (b) the extended monostable configuration, and (c) an example of a stable configuration not predicted by either model



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