Composite corrugated structures for morphing wing skin applications

C. Thill, J. A. Etches, I. P. Bond, K. D. Potter, P. M. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Composite corrugated structures are known for their anisotropic properties. They exhibit relatively high stiffness parallel (longitudinal) to the corrugation direction and are relatively compliant in the direction perpendicular (transverse) to the corrugation. Thus, they offer a potential solution for morphing skin panels (MSPs) in the trailing edge region of a wing as a morphing control surface. In this paper, an overview of the work carried out by the present authors over the last few years on corrugated structures for morphing skin applications is first given. The second part of the paper presents recent work on the application of corrugated sandwich structures. Panels made from multiple unit cells of corrugated sandwich structures are used as MSPs in the trailing edge region of a scaled morphing aerofoil section. The aerofoil section features an internal actuation mechanism that allows chordwise length and camber change of the trailing edge region (aft 35% chord). Wind tunnel testing was carried out to demonstrate the MSP concept but also to explore its limitations. Suggestions for improvements arising from this study were deduced, one of which includes an investigation of a segmented skin. The overall results of this study show that the MSP concept exploiting corrugated sandwich structures offers a potential solution for local morphing wing skins for low speed and small air vehicles.

Translated title of the contributionComposite corrugated structures for morphing wing skin applications
Original languageEnglish
Article number124009
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages10
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Institute of Physics


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