Applied Composite Materials

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 87–106 | Cite as

Thermal Response and Stability Characteristics of Bistable Composite Laminates by Considering Temperature Dependent Material Properties and Resin Layers



In this study, the stability characteristics and thermal response of a bistable composite plate with different asymmetric composition were considered. The non-linear finite element method (FEM) was utilized to determine the response of the laminate. Attention was focused on the temperature dependency of laminate mechanical properties, especially on the thermal expansion coefficients of the composite graphite-epoxy plate. Also the effect of including the resin layers on the stability characteristics of the laminate was investigated. The effect of the temperature on the laminate cured configurations in the range of 25°C to 180°C and −60°C to 40°C was examined. The results indicate that the coefficient of thermal expansions has a major effect on the cured shapes. Next, optical microscopy was used to characterize the laminate composition and for the first time the effect of including the resin layers on the actuation loads that causes snapping behavior between two stable shapes was studied. The results obtained from the finite element simulations were compared with experimental results and a good correlation was obtained. Finally, the stability characteristics of a tapered composite panel were investigated for using in a sample winglet as a candidate application of bistable structures.


Bistable laminates Graphite-epoxy plate Finite element method Snap behavior Thermal response 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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