Parametric modal analysis of an induced-strain actuated wing-like plate for pitch and heave coupling response

Francis Hauris, Onur Bilgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates the feasibility of a plate-like flapping wing with varying geometric and boundary conditions actuated by surface-bonded piezoelectric material devices. The most influential structural parameters that vary dynamic response and heave–pitch mode coupling are investigated. An analytically and experimentally validated dynamic finite element model is developed to analyze the structure. A parametric analysis is conducted by varying critical geometric parameters and boundary conditions, such as aspect ratio, actuator position, actuator angle, clamp size, and position; substrate thickness variation; and substrate-to-actuator-thickness ratio. Response metrics representing heave and pitch motions are taken as longitudinal curvature and lateral slope, respectively—the surface regression analysis and results leading to these choices are presented. Maximum longitudinal curvature and lateral slope amplitudes and phase shifts are reported for key parameter choices. Longitudinal curvature to lateral slope coupling is achieved with the introduction of a leading edge stiffener to the otherwise uniform thickness plate. Conditions and parameters that lead to and influence heave–pitch coupling are presented and discussed in detail. This article presents a unique approach to flapping mode of flight compared to the literature. The article proposes a purely induced-strain actuation approach rather than the typical “mechanisms” based approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1807
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number15
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


  • Macro-Fiber Composite
  • Strain-induced actuation
  • flapping wing
  • ornithopter
  • piezocomposite plate


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