Several research groups have extensively investigated smart materials over the last decades. Applications range from sensing and actuation problems, the combination of both in vibrations control problems and more recently, in energy harvesting problems. Among the several smart materials available, piezoelectric has received great attention in the literature. They can be used as sensors and actuators, either simultaneously or separately, they also provide different installation possibilities, large useful range of frequencies and different configurations commercially available. Among different applications, aeronautical engineering has benefited from the researches related to smart materials. In particular, these materials have provided advances in the development of bio-inspired structures, which is a interdisciplinary research for the active and optimized variation of geometries (morphing wings), flapping problems (imitating the flapping of birds or insects) or even control of structural properties in order to improve the aeroelastic performance. Linear constitutive equation of piezoelectricity has been considered for the modeling of such systems. However, recent literature shows that nonlinear manifestations of piezoelectric materials are relevant and can significantly modify the behavior of an electromechanically coupled system both in actuation or sensor problems. The goal in this project is the electroaeroelastic modeling of a flexible wing with piezoelectric actuators for morphing, flapping and control of elastic properties including the nonlinear behavior of piezoelectric materials. A nonlinear plate finite element model has been developed in order to obtain the governing equations. The physical model for the nonlinear behavior piezoelectric materials will be developed during the visit to the Smart Structures and Dynamical Systems Laboratory (SSDSL) of Georgia Tech. The resulting nonlinear electroaeroelastic model will be experimentally verified during the visit.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: