Design, Modelling and Analysis of Morphing Airfoils

Köksal, Buğra
This study presents the design, finite element (FE) modeling and analysis of a morphing airfoil using pressure-actuated cell structures. It is aimed that the selected baseline airfoil should be capable of changing its profile to morph into a target airfoil profile. To achieve this goal, first, a NACA 0012 airfoil with a 500 mm chord and 8 mm x 8 mm outer cross-section is obtained in Altair® HyperWorks environment as a baseline airfoil. Following this, the cell actuators responsible for morphing are designed and located on this baseline airfoil. Having completed the design phase, a finite element model is then created via Altair® HyperWorks. For the cell actuators, the neo-Hookean hyperelastic and isotropic material models are used to model elastomeric chambers and stiffening rings, respectively. The isotropic material is also assigned to the rest of the baseline airfoil. Then, a targeting algorithm aiming to calculate the required pressure distribution inside the cell actuators is developed. NACA 2412 airfoil is chosen as the target airfoil and via the targeting algorithm, the pressure distributions responsible for morphing are then calculated. In the end, these pressure distributions are applied to the baseline airfoil and both linear and non-linear finite element analyses are performed and the results are presented in the form of morphed structures. The present study shows that with the help of a targeting algorithm, the required pressure distribution of cell actuators can be calculated and a morphing airfoil design comprising pressure-actuated cell structures is achievable with feasible pressure values.


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Citation Formats
B. Köksal, “Design, Modelling and Analysis of Morphing Airfoils,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.