Pseudo-bistable pre-stressed morphing composite panels

A. Brinkmeyer*, A. Pirrera, M. Santer, P. M. Weaver

*Corresponding author for this work

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

23 Citations (Scopus)


The pseudo-bistable phenomenon already shown to exist in the case of spherical domes is demonstrated in pre-stressed composite panels. This new concept for morphing structures uses intrinsic material viscoelasticity to actuate the structure passively between its different states. A pseudo-bistable structure is first snapped into a buckled state and allowed to relax under a constant strain. Once the actuation is removed, the structure remains in its buckled configuration for a period of time, before quickly returning to its initial state. In this paper, the principles of the pseudo-bistable behaviour are first outlined using a discrete truss model. An equivalent numerical model is then used to show how the time-dependent behaviour imparted to the structure can be controlled by the choice of the pre-straining boundary conditions. Next, the effect of a composite layup on the pseudo-bistable behaviour is shown, and a volume fraction limit is given. Finally, preliminary experimental results confirm the numerical simulations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1043
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Morphing
  • Adaptive structures
  • Bistability
  • Viscoelasticity
  • Composites


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