Numerical simulation of actuation behavior of active fiber composites in helicopter rotor blade application

Seung Hoon Paik, Ji Yeon Kim, Sang Joon Shin, Seung Jo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Smart structures incorporating active materials have been designed and analyzed to improve aerospace vehicle performance and its vibration/noise characteristics. Helicopter integral blade actuation is one example of those efforts using embedded anisotropic piezoelectric actuators. To design and analyze such integrally-actuated blades, beam approach based on homogenization methodology has been traditionally used. Using this approach, the global behavior of the structures is predicted in an averaged sense. However, this approach has intrinsic limitations in describing the local behaviors in the level of the constituents. For example, the failure analysis of the individual active fibers requires the knowledge of the local behaviors. Microscopic approach for the analysis of integrally-actuated structures is established in this paper. Piezoelectric fibers and matrices are modeled individually and finite element method using three-dimensional solid elements is adopted. Due to huge size of the resulting finite element meshes, high performance computing technology is required in its solution process. The present methodology is quoted as Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of the smart structure. As an initial validation effort, present analytical results are correlated with the experiments from a small-scaled integrally-actuated blade, Active Twist Rotor (ATR). Through DNS, local stress distribution around the interface of fiber and matrix can be analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2004 - Smart Structures and Integrated Systems - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 15 2004Mar 18 2004


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Finite element method
  • High performance computing
  • Integrally-actuated blade
  • Microscopic approach


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