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research-article

Thermal Prestress in Composite Compliant Shell Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
Jonathan Stacey

Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS), Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, United Kingdom
jonathan.stacey@bristol.ac.uk

Matthew P. O'Donnell

Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS), Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, United Kingdom
matt.odonnell@bristol.ac.uk

Mark Schenk

Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS), Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, United Kingdom
m.schenk@bristol.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042476 History: Received October 15, 2018; Revised January 04, 2019

Abstract

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 results and manufactured samples, showing good agreement between all approaches. Wider challenges around the manufacture of prestressed composite compliant mechanisms are discussed.

Copyright (c) 2019 by ASME
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