Composite Body of a Modern Vehicle

To fully understand the term composite structure you should know two things: what is composite material and what is structure; because composite structures are simply the structures made by composite materials.

The world of composites is extremely vast and diverse. It is not only about a fancy engine cover on a sports car. We encounter composite structure in our everyday lives: when a bicycle passes us by, when we look up in the air and we spot a plane, and also at home, when we stand on them while taking a shower.

The past few decades have seen outstanding advances in the use of composite materials in structural applications. There can be little doubt that, within engineering circles, composites have revolutionized traditional design concepts and made possible an unparalleled range of new and exciting possibilities as viable materials for construction.

 Schematic of trapezoidal machined aluminium mould and Prepreg laminates of glass fiber

Sandwich structures have been used over a long time applications where the weight of the member is critical, such as packaging, civil, naval, automotive and aerospace industries due to their low mass to stiffness ratio and high impact absorption capacity. Some instances of their applications in daily life are cardboard sandwich cores used for packaging, metal corrugated roofs, hulks, automotive chassis and bumpers, fuselage and morphing wing. In nature, where mechanical design required to be optimized, sandwich structures are used such as the human skull which is made up of two layers of dense compact bone separated by a "core" of lower density material.

Advanced concepts NASA envisions for an aircraft of the future

The need for a better aircraft performance is increasingly prompting designers towards the concept of ‘morphing’ or ‘shape-adaptable’ structural systems. To improve the performance of the aircraft, multi-stable composites could provide an interesting alternative to traditional designs. One approach to morphing aircraft is to use bi-stable structures that have two stable equilibrium configurations to define a discrete set of shapes for the morphing structure. Moving between these stable states may be achieved using an actuation system or by aerodynamic loads. Studding the application of bi-stable composite plate in the morphing wing is aim of forthcoming investigation in this project. Figures 1 and 2 show two conceptual novel designs of morphing airplane.

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