Fundamental Hyperelastic Material Study
This research is part of an innovative effort to use hyperelastic materials to produce flexible and seamless aircraft structures that reduce drag and minimize acoustic noise. Hyperelastic materials, such as rubber, have a non-linear stress-strain relationship, which often complicates the modeling process. Researchers are investigating the properties of hyperelastic materials and developing improved finite element analysis (FEA) models. This technology has been shown to improve aircraft aerodynamic efficiency and reduce airport-area noise generated during takeoffs and landings.
Work to date: The Armstrong development team has fabricated the biaxial strain test hardware and completed initial bubble test planning. The team is working to obtain biaxial strain properties and develop an FEA model that simulates the material properties and failure characteristics.
Looking ahead: The team will fine-tune the modeling in 2014 by comparing the predicted output to an actual bubble test of the material.
Economical: Use of hyperelastic material increases fuel efficiency by reducing drag.
Quieter: Novel wing flap reduces noise associated with takeoffs and landings both in the aircraft cabin and on the ground.
Aircraft wing flaps
Motor vehicles, trains, and ships
Hyperelastic Research/Lightweight Flexible Aircraft
Armstrong engineers are pioneering new research in aircraft design and modeling. Researchers are experimenting with revolutionary hyperelastic wing control technologies that can reduce weight, improve aircraft aerodynamic efficiency, and suppress flutter. Other cutting-edge research involves techniques, models, and analysis tools for flutter suppression and gust-load allevia-tion.Flight projects at Armstrong rely on high-performance aircraft that can support research on lightweight structures and advance control technologies for future efficient, environmentally friendly transport aircraft. This work has applicability beyond flight safety and design optimization.Armstrong's R&D capabilities in this area also can be applied to other vehicles, such as supersonic transports, large space structures, and hypersonic vehicles.