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Development of Thermally Actuated, High-Temperature Composite Morphing Concepts

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Technical Report,01 Feb 2014,01 Feb 2016

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University of Bristol Bristol United Kingdom

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A thermal bimorph is a thin laminate which develops curvature upon heating on account of being constructed from layers of mismatched thermal expansion coefficients. However, current bimorphs are generally limited to benign temperatures and linear temperature displacement relationships. This work develops modelling techniques and fabrication methods that facilitate the use of nonlinear-response thermal bimorphs in high-temperature morphing structures. Successful application of this work may yield morphing hot structures in extreme environments. A particularly appealing set of applications exists in gas turbine engines, which stand to benefit greatly from aerodynamic control in their combustors, turbines, and nozzles. The overarching goal of this project was to develop the techniques and understanding necessary to fabricate high-temperature, thermally actuated morphing structures that operate with a tailored, nonlinear response to temperature change that is, actuators whose displacement can be either concentrated at a triggering temperature, or spread out over a given temperature range.

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