Integration of structurally embedded vascular antenna (Seva) in a complex curved composites

Jeffery W. Baur, Thao Gibson, Daniel Rapking, Shaun Murphy, Geoffrey J. Frank, Robyn Bradford, Gregory Huff, Darren J. Hartl, David Phillips

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recently, a reconfigurable structurally embedded vascular antenna (SEVA) has been demonstrated in flat epoxy/quartz fiber composite panels based on the transport of liquid metal within embedded microchannels. The liquid metal is a non-toxic eutectic gallium-indium alloy which remains liquid down to -19°C, has low viscosity, and has high electrical conductivity. Patterned microchannels are created using fused deposition printing of sacrificial catalyzed poly(lactic acid) cPLA followed by transfer, composite lamination, composite cure, and then thermal removal of the sacrificial cPLA during post-cure. It has been previously demonstrated that when the resulting embedded channel are progressively filled with liquid metal and electromagnetically connected, their resonant frequency can be tuned over a large frequency range depending on the resulting shape of the liquid metal trace. The large frequency response, small footprint, low volume of the metal (<2%), and retention of an aerodynamically efficient shape makes SEVA attractive for reconfigurable aircraft antenna. Mechanical modeling and experimental testing of the microvascular panels has shown modest decreases in tensile strength due to the microchannels. This paper will describe the composite fabrication of a multi-element SEVA antenna array within a complex curved article that resembles an aircraft leading-edge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2017
EventSAMPE Seattle 2017 Conference - Seattle, United States
Duration: May 22 2017May 25 2017


OtherSAMPE Seattle 2017 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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