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Research Papers

Experimental and Finite Element Modal Analysis of a Pliant Elastic Membrane for Micro Air Vehicles Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Uttam Kumar Chakravarty1

School of Aerospace Engineering,  Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332uttamk@gatech.edu

Roberto Albertani2

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Research and Engineering Education Facility,  University of Florida, Shalimar, FL 32579

1

Corresponding author. Present address: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, FL 32579.

2

Present address: School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

J. Appl. Mech 79(2), 021004 (Feb 09, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005569 History: Received August 26, 2010; Revised October 13, 2011; Posted January 31, 2012; Published February 09, 2012; Online February 09, 2012

This paper investigates the modal characteristics of a latex membrane for micro air vehicles applications. Finite element (FE) models are developed for characterizing the latex membrane at dynamic loading and validated by experimental results. The membrane at different pre-tension levels is attached to a circular steel ring, mounted on a shaker, and placed inside the vacuum chamber for modal characterization using a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV). The experimental modal analysis is conducted by imposing a structural excitation to the ring for investigating the membrane vibration characteristics at both atmospheric and reduced pressures in a vacuum chamber. FE models are developed for the natural frequencies of the membrane at different uniform and non-uniform pre-tension levels with the effect of the added mass of air. The Mooney-Rivlin hyperelastic material model is selected for the membrane. The natural frequencies of the membrane computed by experimental and FE models are correlated well, although discrepancy is expected among experimental and FE results within reasonable limits due to the variation of the thickness of the membrane. The natural frequencies increase with the mode and pre-tension level of the membrane but decrease due to an increase in ambient pressure. The damping ratios have very minimal effect on the frequencies due to low values but help to reduce the amplitude of vibration. Natural frequencies of the membrane do not change with the uniform and non-uniform nature of the pre-tension, although they increase with the pre-tension level. It is also found that the effect of added mass on the natural frequencies increases with an increase of the size of the membrane specimen.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Membranes , Tension
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Micro air vehicle with a flexible membrane wing from the MAV Lab at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

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Figure 2

Latex membrane attached to the circular steel ring mounted on the shaker

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Figure 3

Membrane specimen mounted on the shaker and positioned inside the vacuum chamber. Partial VIC system is also shown in the figure.

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Figure 4

Natural frequencies versus ambient pressure plots for the membrane specimen with ɛxx = 0.0524 and ɛyy = 0.0579 pre-tension level

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Figure 5

Natural frequencies versus ambient pressure plots for the membrane specimen with ɛxx = 0.0525 and ɛyy = 0.0769 pre-tension level

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Figure 6

Damping ratios versus ambient pressure plots for the membrane specimen with ɛxx = 0.0524 and ɛyy = 0.0579 pre-tension level

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Figure 7

Damping ratios versus ambient pressure plots for the membrane specimen with ɛxx = 0.0525 and ɛyy = 0.0769 pre-tension level

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Figure 8

Mode shapes for the membrane specimen with ɛxx = 0.0524 and ɛyy = 0.0579 pre-tension level from the FE model in air at atmospheric pressure

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Figure 9

Variation of the first (0,1) natural frequency with thickness at different membrane pre-tension levels in air at atmospheric pressure

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Figure 10

Variation of the first (0,1) natural frequency with uniform and non-uniform pre-tension levels of circular membrane of radius 51.25 mm in air at atmospheric pressure (Note: Plots for slopes, 30 deg and 60 deg overlap each other)

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Figure 11

Mass ratio versus radius of circular membrane plot in air at atmospheric pressure

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Figure 12

Variation of the first (0,1) natural frequency with radius of circular membrane for ɛxx = 0.06 and ɛyy = 0.06 pre-tension level in vacuum and air at atmospheric pressure

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