A Variable Transverse Stiffness Structure using Fluidic Flexible Matrix Composite (F2MC)

Open Access
Li, Suyi
Graduate Program:
Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Kon Well Wang, Thesis Advisor
  • Christopher Rahn, Thesis Advisor
  • Karen Ann Thole, Thesis Advisor
  • Fluidic flexible matrix composite
  • honeycomb structures
  • sandwich beam
  • variable stiffness
Presented in this study is the development of a novel honeycomb sandwich panel with variable transverse stiffness. In this structure, the traditional sandwich face sheets are replaced by the fluidic flexible matrix composite (F2MC) tube layers developed in recent studies. The F2MC layers, combined with the anisotropic honeycomb core material properties, provide a new sandwich structure with variable stiffness properties for transverse loading. In this research, an analytical model is derived based on Lekhnitskii’s anisotropic pressurized tube solution and Timoshenko beam theory. Finite elements simulations and experimental investigations are also conducted to verify the analytical findings. A segmented multiple-F2MC-tube configuration is synthesized to increase the variable stiffness range. The analysis shows that the new honeycomb sandwich structure using F2MC tubes of 10 segments can provide a high/low transverse stiffness ratio of 110. Segmentation and stiffness control can be realized by an embedded valve network, granting a fast response time.