About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Smart Materials Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 695475, 8 pages
Research Article

Morphing of Bistable Composite Laminates Using Distributed Piezoelectric Actuators

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1V 0A6

Received 15 December 2011; Accepted 20 February 2012

Academic Editor: Michael W. Hyer

Copyright © 2012 Marie-Laure Dano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The use of bistable unsymmetric cross-ply laminates for morphing application has received growing attention in the last few years. So far, most studies use large rectangular piezoelectric Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) patches bonded at the center of the laminate to induce snap-through. However, the use of large rectangular MFC patches bonded in the center of the laminates significantly influences the shape of the laminate by greatly reducing the curvature at the midsection of the laminate where the MFC patches are bonded. This paper presents a study where narrow cocured MFC strips distributed over the entire surface are used to induce snap-through of unsymmetric cross-ply laminates. This MFC configuration allows having a more uniform curvature in the laminate. Since the strips are bonded on both sides, reverse snap-through should be obtained. The study was both theoretical and experimental. A finite element nonlinear analysis was used to predict the two stable cylindrical configurations and the snap-through induced by MFC actuation. For the experimental study, a laminate-MFC structure was manufactured and tested. The shapes were measured using a 3D image correlation system as a function of applied voltage. Good correlations for the cylindrical shape and displacement field were observed.