SMA-induced deformations in unsymmetric cross-ply laminates

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Virginia Tech

Presented is a model for predicting SMA-induced deformations in an unsymmetric cross ply laminate. A previously developed theory is used to predict the room-temperature shape of the cross-ply laminate by minimizing its total potential energy. Then, using the principle of virtual work, equations relating the shape of the laminate to a force applied on supports fastened to the laminate are derived. Induced strains and displacements are predicted as a function of the applied force. Experiments where the force is generated by known weights are conducted. Good correlations are established between the experimental results and the predictions. The developed theory is able to predict with good accuracy the shape, strains and, displacements of an unsymmetric cross-ply laminate to the force applied on the laminate. This theory is then used to develop a model relating the laminate response to forces produced by a SMA actuator, the actuator being a SMA wire. To describe the mechanics of the SMA actuator, constitutive equations derived by other researchers are used. These constitutive equations relate the temperature of the wire to forces generated in it. Experiments where a SMA wire is used as an actuator are conducted. These experiments consist of resistively heating a SMA wire attached to supports fastened to the laminate. During these experiments, laminate deformations are measured as a function of the applied voltage. Comparisons with the temperature-based constitutive model predictions are not made since the relation between the applied voltage and the SMA temperature is very difficult to establish. However, the experiments show that a SMA used in conjunction with cross-ply unsymmetric laminates can induce very large changes in the laminate shapes. Thus, the concept of using a SMA actuator to control the shape of cross-ply unsymmetric laminates is validated.