This project is based on applying the predictive capabilities of
constitutive models developed by the SMART team to real-world SMA
design problems. Specifically, as members of the Department of Aerospace
Engineering, we focus on applications for use on fixed wing aircraft, though
rotorcraft and spacecraft have also been considered.
The special engineering constraints of high actuation force provided within a
low volume of installation make SMAs an especially attractive design option
for the aerospace industry. Analysis and prediction of global application response
(forces and deflections) and local loads within the active material
(stresses and strains) is accomplished via Finite Element (FE) implementations
of the mathematical models. Integration algorithms for the rate equations
are coded to enhance both the speed of analysis while also accounting for
effects such as large structural rotations. The global FE solver also considered
contact (including friction), connections, heat transfer phenomena, etc.
Improvements to the constitutive model (based on new experimental findings, for example)
can be quickly incorporated into the FE framework.
The Boeing Company has historically been, and continues to be,
an important collaborator in this work, and funds most aerospace
People Involved with
Darren Hartl, Ph.D.
Dimitris Lagoudas, Ph.D.