Buckling-driven mechanisms for twisting control in adaptive composite wings

Jiayao Zhang, Chiara Bisagni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to design novel tailorable and effective mechanisms by controlling buckling behaviour in structural elements of a composite wing for future morphing application. Instead of the traditional design against buckling, the idea is to embrace this built-in instability by using the nonlinear post-buckling response to control stiffness changes which redistribute the load in the wing structure. To enable desired multi-stable configurations, three buckling-driven mechanisms are investigated by restraining the out-of-plane buckling deformation using point, area and maximum displacement constraints. Numerical studies of the proposed mechanisms are at first conducted on a composite plate and are later integrated to control twisting of a simplified thin-walled composite wing box. The proposed mechanisms offer effective design opportunities of multi-stable configurations and demonstrate the potential to realise morphing of composite wings employing controlled buckling behaviours in structural components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107006
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Buckling
  • Composite structures
  • Morphing
  • Multi-stable configurations
  • Twisting
  • Wing box


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