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Publication - Dr Chrystel Remillat

    Morphing nacelle inlet lip with pneumatic actuators and a flexible nano composite sandwich panel

    Citation

    Ozdemir, NG, Scarpa, F, Craciun, M, Remillat, CDL, Lira, C, Jagessur, Y & Da Rocha-Schmidt, L, 2015, ‘Morphing nacelle inlet lip with pneumatic actuators and a flexible nano composite sandwich panel’. Smart Materials and Structures, vol 24.

    Abstract

    We present a hybrid pneumatic/flexible sandwich structure with thermoplastic nanocomposite skins to enable the morphing of a nacelle inlet lip. The design consists of pneumatic inflatables as actuators and a flexible sandwich panel that morphs under variable pressure combinations to adapt different flight conditions and save fuel. The sandwich panel forms the outer layer of the nacelle inlet lip. It is lightweight, compliant and impact resistant with no discontinuities, and consists of graphene-doped thermoplastic polyurethane (G/ TPU) skins that are supported by an aluminium Flex-core honeycomb in the middle, with near zero in-plane Poisson’s ratio behaviour. A test rig for a reduced-scale demonstrator was designed and built to test the prototype of morphing nacelle with custom-made pneumatic actuators. The output force and the deflections of the experimental demonstrator are verified with the internal pressures of the actuators varying from 0 to 0.41 MPa. The results show the feasibility and promise of the hybrid inflatable/nanocomposite sandwich panel for morphing nacelle airframes.

    Full details in the University publications repository