A Combined Piezoelectric Composite Actuator and Its Application to Wing/Blade Tips
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A novel combined piezoelectric-composite actuator configuration is proposed and analytically modeled in this work. The actuator is a low complexity, active compliant mechanism obtained by coupling a modified star cross sectional configuration composite beam with a helicoidal bimorph piezoelectric actuator coiled around it. This novel actuator is a good candidate as a hinge tension-torsion bar actuator for a helicopter rotor blade flap or blade tip and mirror rotational positioning. In the wing tip case, the tip deflection angle is different only according to the aerodynamic moment depending on the hinge position of the actuator along the chord and applied voltage because there is no centrifugal force. For an active blade tip subject to incompressible flow and 2D quasi steady airloads, its twist angle is related not only to aerodynamic moment and applied voltage but also to coupling terms, such as the trapeze effect and the tennis racquet effect. Results show the benefit of hinge position aft of the aerodynamic center, such that the blade tip response is amplified by airloads. Contrary to this effect, results also show that the centrifugal effects and inertial effect cause an amplitude reduction in the response. Summation of these effects determines the overall blade tip response. The results for a certain hinge position of Xh=1.5% chord aft of the quarter chord point proves that the tip deflection target design range[-2,+2] can be achieved for all pitch angle configurations chosen.