Development of smart materials and structures is a rapidly emerging field in engineering. A structure is considered 'smart' when, together with a controller, it can sense changes in its environment and adapt to those changes. However, a major barrier in the design of smart structures is that current actuation devices such as strain-induced actuators are limited in their output displacement capability. As a result, they are often equipped with compliant stroke amplifiers. To eliminate the reliance on intuitive and ad-hoc design methods for these actuators, a new systematic design method is needed. The goal of this research is to develop such a method. This new method will employ a topology optimization approach, accounting for issues particular to smart structures such as maximum amplification, maximum mechanical efficiency, impedance matching, and least weight. The resulting optimal compliant mechanism designs will then be integrated with smart materials to form an actuator. It is expected that these optimally designed actuators will offer improved stroke performance over current smart actuator designs. The funding provided by the POWRE program will allow the PI to conduct this fundamental research and establish her own research program and laboratory in the area of smart structures design.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/98 → 12/31/99|
- National Science Foundation: $80,000.00