Design of a smart flap using polymeric C-block actuators and a hybrid optimization technique

Aditi Chattopadhyay, Charles E. Seeley, Lori Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The concept of a rotor blade with a smart flap has received considerable attention lately due to the potential for vibration suppression using individual blade control (IBC). In this paper, curved polymeric piezoelectric actuators, called C-block actuators, which exhibit significant advantages over other types of actuators are proposed to drive a smart flap for IBC. The efficient implementation involves the design of both the actuators and the flap. Therefore, it is appropriate to use a formal optimization technique to address this problem. The optimization problem is complex since it includes both continuous (flap size) and discrete (number of actuators) design variables. Therefore, a newly developed hybrid optimization procedure, which can include both types of design variable, is used to maximize flap performance using the C-block actuators. Optimization results indicate that the C-block actuators provide comparable control authority without some of the drawbacks, such as brittleness, of conventional bimorph actuators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-144
Number of pages11
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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