Bend-Twist Coupled Carbon-Fiber Laminate Beams: Fundamental Behavior and Applications
Babuska, Pavel F.
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Material-induced bend-twist coupling in laminated composite beams has seen applications in engineered structures for decades, ranging from airplane wings to turbine blades. Symmetric, unbalanced, carbon fiber laminates which exhibit bend-twist coupling can be difficult to characterize and exhibit unintuitive deformation states which may pose challenges to the engineer. In this thesis, bend-twist coupled beams are investigated comprehensively, by experimentation, numerical modeling, and analytical methods. Beams of varying fiber angle and amount of coupling were manufactured and physically tested in both linear and nonlinear static and dynamic settings. Analytical mass and stiffness matrices were derived for the development of a beam element to use in the stiffness matrix analysis method. Additionally, an ABAQUS finite element model was used in conjunction with the analytical methods to predict and further characterize the behavior of the beams. The three regimes, experimental, analytical, and numerical, represent a full-field characterization of bend-twist coupling in composite beams. A notable application of bend-twist coupled composites is for passively adaptive turbine blades whereby the deformation coupling can be built into the blade structure to simultaneously bend and twist, thus pitching the blade into or away from the fluid flow, changing the blade angle of attack. Passive pitch adaptation has been implemented successfully in wind turbine blades, however, for marine turbine blades, the technology is still in the development phase. Bend-twist coupling has been shown numerically to be beneficial to the tidal turbine performance, however little validation has been conducted in the experimental regime. In this thesis, passively adaptive experiment scale tidal turbine blades were designed, analyzed, manufactured, and physically tested, validating the foundational numerical work. It was shown that blade forces and root moments as well as turbine thrust and power coefficients can be manipulated by inclusion of passive pitch adaption by bend-twist coupling.
- Civil engineering