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Experimental evaluation of a morphing leading edge concept

: Sodja, Jurij; Martinez, Marcias J.; Simpson, John; Breuker, Roeland De

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Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures 30 (2019), No.18-19, pp.2953-2969
ISSN: 1045-389X
ISSN: 1530-8138
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IBP ()

This article presents an experimental evaluation of a morphing leading edge demonstrator by investigating its morphed shape, the level of induced strains in the airfoil skin, the actuation force, and the morphing mechanism’s capability to lock and transfer the applied loads. In addition, a finite element model of the demonstrator is assembled comprising an elastic morphing skin and a kinematic morphing mechanism. The obtained results are used to assess whether the demonstrator performs according to the design objectives, such as the target shape, the character of the morphing deformation and the morphing mechanism locking, applied during the design process. The comparison between experimental and numerical results yielded a good agreement in terms of observed morphed shape and pertaining strains. The average difference in morphed shape was less than 0.08% chord at the maximum actuator extension. The observed difference in the respective strains was less than 400 micro-strains. A significant difference, up to 70%, was observed in the actuation force, which was attributed to the modelling assumptions and to the force measurement technique employed in the experiment. Nevertheless, both results show good qualitative agreement showing similar trends.