As a consequence of operational eﬃciency because of rising energy costs, future transport systems need to be mission-adaptive. Especially in aircraft design the limits of lightweight construction, reduced aerodynamic drag and optimized propulsion are pushed further and further. The ﬁrst two aspects can be addressed by using a morphing leading edge. Great economic advantages can be expected as a result of gapless surfaces which feature longer areas of laminar ﬂow. Instead of focusing on the kinematics, which are already published in a great number of varieties, this paper emphasizes as major challenge, the qualiﬁcation of a multi-material layup which meets the compromise of needed stiﬀness, ﬂexibility and essential functions to match the ﬂight worthiness requirements, such as erosion shielding, impact safety, lighting protection and de-icing. It is the aim to develop an gapless leading edge device and to prepare the path for higher technology readiness levels resulting in an airborne application. During several national and European projects the DLR developed a gapless smart droop nose concept, which functionality was successfully demonstrated using a two-dimensional 5 m in span prototype in low speed (up to 50 m/s) wind tunnel tests. The basic structure is made of commercially available and certiﬁed glass-ﬁber reinforced plastics (GFRP, Hexcel Hexply 913). This paper presents 4-point bending tests to characterize the composite with its integrated functions. The integrity and aging/fatigue issues of diﬀerent material combinations are analyzed by experiments. It can be demonstrated that only by adding functional layers the mentioned requirements such as erosion-shielding or de-icing can be satisﬁed. The total thickness of the composite skin increases by more than 100 % when required functions are integrated as additional layers. This fact has a tremendous impact on the maximum strain of the outer surface if it features a complete monolithic build-up. Based on experimental results a numerical model can be set up for further structural optimizaton of the multi-functional laminate.
Sebastian Geier, Markus Kintscher, Thorsten Mahrholz, Peter Wierach, Hans-Peter Monner, and Martin Wiedemann, "Experimental and finite element analyses of multifunctional skins for morphing wing applications," Proc. SPIE 9803, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016, 980328 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 23, 2016; Published: 20 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2219357.
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