1 August 2003 Synthesis of shape morphing compliant mechanisms using a load path representation method
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The performance of many mechanical systems is directly related to the geometric shapes of their components, such as aircraft wings and antenna reflectors. While the shapes of these components are mostly fixed, incorporating shape morphing into these systems can increase the flexibility and enhance the performance. A synthesis approach for shape morphing compliant mechanism is presented in this paper, using a load path generation method to efficiently exclude the invalid topologies (disconnected structures) from the Genetic Algorithm (GA) solution space. The synthesis approach is illustrated through a flexible antenna reflector design and a morphing aircraft trailing edge. The results demonstrate the capability of the load path generation method to create various designs with less design variables. The results also show that the use of compliant mechanisms can indeed provide a viable alternative for shape morphing applications. Methods to improve convergence such as employing a local search within or following the GA are also discussed.
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Kerr-Jia Lu, Kerr-Jia Lu, Sridhar Kota, Sridhar Kota, "Synthesis of shape morphing compliant mechanisms using a load path representation method", Proc. SPIE 5049, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Modeling, Signal Processing, and Control, (1 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484020; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.484020

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