3D printed carbon fiber composites with load induced morphing behavior
The proposed PhD research will exploit the design freedom of 3D printing to develop a structural composite with load actuated morphing, namely a capability to undergo large out-of-plane displacements (for example, bending and twisting) upon application of small local loadings. This will be achieved through microstructural design following several concepts. One of the concepts will be to activate such deformations by producing a layered (hard/soft) structure that is oriented at a certain angle to the composite plane. Such laminated composites are not possible to produce with conventional manufacturing techniques while 3D printing provides unique opportunities. The applicant will develop a fundamental understanding of the interplay between material microstructure and different modes of local deformation to achieve controlled morphing at the macro-scale. He will investigate the effect of such parameters as the orientation of layers through the thickness, stiffness mismatch of the layers, layer thicknesses (relative and absolute) and yielding stress of the soft layer to name a few. The proposed work is a combination of experimental and modelling approaches”.