Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Myers, Oliver J.

Committee Member

Schneider, Judy

Committee Member

Daniewicz, Steven R.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


Thin unsymmetric carbon fiber reinforced polymeric(CFRP) composite laminates are examined for use of morphing structures using piezoelectric actuation. During fabrication, unsymmetric laminates are able to deform to more than one post-cure room temperature shape. Thin cross-ply laminates will deform to a cylindrical post-cure room temperature shape while thicker non-cross-ply laminates will deform to a saddle shape. Predictions of the deformed post-cure shape will be made by modeling the cure process using analytical and numerical. These models will then serve as expectations for experimental tests. Modeling the fabrication process allowed for characterizing important data such as residual stresses from the cure process, room temperature shapes, and bi-stability of the CFRP composite laminates all of which are needed to accurately model morphing structures. Cross-ply laminates will deform to a symmetric cylindrical shape, cylindrical shape I, after the cure process. Non cross-ply laminates will deform to a non-uniform saddle shape after the cure process. These post-cure room temperature deformation shapes can be used as morphing structures by applying a force large enough to create ”snap” through to the other cylindrical shape, cylindrical shape II. A piezoelectric actuator, bonded to the deformed room temperature shapes, is used to generate this ”snap through force”. Experimental verification was done by fabricating the CFRP composite laminates and comparing the post cure room temperature shapes to the analytical and numerical fabrication models. For morphing structures, experimental verification was done by actuating the piezoelectric actuator and comparing the deformation of cylindrical shape II to analytical and numerical piezoelectric models.