Tow-steered composites are optimized for use in tailoring the aeroelastic behavior of a simple two-dimensional composite wing, with particular emphasis on improving both flutter/divergence airspeeds and gust loads. Symmetric layups are considered where the fibers vary in orientation along the wingspan and chord. Tow-steered laminates were found to increase the instability airspeed by up to 7% compared with optimized straight-fiber laminates and by 13% compared with optimized laminates with standard (0/± 45/90 deg) plies. Tow-steered laminates were also found to reduce the peak wing root gust loads (up to 52%) and the correlated gust loads (up to 24%). The lowest gust loads were reached with higher order nonlinear fiber angle variations when either all plies were optimized or when twodimensional fiber angle variations were used. Optimization strategies that allowed the fiber angles to vary freely in each ply generally performed better than optimizations based on the rotation of (0/± 45/90 deg)-ply stacks along the span of the wing.
Bibliographical noteDate of Acceptance: 20/01/2015
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Polly E Eccleston (Other), Simon H Atack (Other), D A G Williams (Manager), Sadaf R Alam (Manager) & Steven A Chapman (Manager)