Static, dynamic and aeroelastic behaviour of thin-walled composite structures with application to aircraft wings
Theoretical and experimental investigations of the static and dynamic behaviour of thin-walled structures are carried out with the ultimate aim of improving prediction procedures for various aeroelastic phenomena. The dynamic stiffness matrix approach is used for structural idealization, while strip theory and Theodorsen's function C(k) are used for the aerodynamic idealization. The dynamic composite beam with with an axial load centroid, has been carried out using Special cases, that been identified and stiffness matrix for a thin-walled geometric and material coupling together (compressive or tensile) applied at the developed. An exact analysis was then the derived dynamic stiffness matrix. are derivatives of the general case have discussed. A three stage program was developed to compute various static and dynamic properties of thin-walled closed or open section composite beams. In the first stage, equivalent elastic constants (overall laminate moduli) were evaluated for a given stacking sequence and material properties. In the second stage, various sectional properties were computed. When the outputs from these two stages were combined, valuable data on sectional rigidities, mass per unit length, polar mass moment of inertia, and shear centre location from the centroid were obtained. In the third stage of the program, all these properties were used to compute the natural frequencies and normal mode shapes of thin-walled composite structures. These programs can be used individually as well as in a combined manner. An experimental investigation of composite thin plates with varying degrees of bending-torsion coupling was conducted. Flexural and torsional rigidities, natural frequencies, normal mode shapes and flutter speed and frequency were experimentally determined. The results obtained were in close agreement with the theoretical predictions. Various open composite sections were experimentally studied for their static and dynamic properties. The results demanded a more refined investigation of the theory. In addition to the experimental study of composite open sections, a parametric study of uncoupled and coupled frequencies of such sections with common boundary conditions was also conducted. Thin-walled closed aerofoil shaped cantilevered structures were tested to establish flexural and torsional rigidities, shear centre, and the polar-mass-moment of inertia. Natural frequencies and normal mode shapes were also determined. The aeroelastic behaviour of these sections was investigated to establish divergence and flutter characteristics. Comparisons of the experimental results with theoretical predictions of flutter speed and frequency were in general satisfactory and the results provided an insight into the aeroelastic behaviour of thin-walled composite beams. The results are discussed and commented on.