Design of adaptive cores of sandwich structures using a compliant unit cell approach and topology optimization

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Journal Article
Journal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME, 2010, 132 (8), pp. 0810121 - 0810128
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This paper presents a new method in designing the core layer of adaptive sandwich structures. The proposed design formulation treats the core layer as a compliant unit cell network while the unit cell network is synthesized by repeatedly linked identical compliant unit cells. Each unit cell is designed to possess shape adaptive functions independently and through the accumulation of the number of cells within the network, the global adaptive functions are accumulated also. Therefore, the network is capable of achieving large scale shape adaptations of complex profile with high fidelity. Topology optimization is used to design the compliant unit cell. Depending on the problem formulation, topology optimization can perform the simultaneous design of both the host material and the actuation material in the defined environment. This research includes a numerical case study to illustrate the technical aspects of this design philosophy. This is followed by the rapid prototyping of two scaled models and experimental validation. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.
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