Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Axially Graded Smart Structures

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The multi-segmented smart structures are a promising and versatile approach to designing complex systems that can be adapted to various applications. They offer greater flexibility, durability, and efficiency than monolithic structures and have the potential to transform the way of building structures. By breaking down a design into smaller segments, it is possible to make repairs or modifications to individual components without affecting the entire system. Additionally, segmented structures can be optimized for specific applications by adjusting the number, size, and shape of the segments. A variety of materials can be used to construct multi-segmented structures, including metals, composites, and polymers. This concept is extensively used in automobiles, aerospace, robotics, locomotives etc., to reduce the structure weight, material and cost. In this, the segments of different high-strength materials like steel are joined with lighter materials like composites. These segments may be joined along the longitudinal or transverse direction within the system. However, it causes the formation of interfaces at the segment joints and the generation of stress concentration due to sudden changes in the material. It may result in the failure of structures under different loading conditions. So, to tackle the issue of a sudden change in material properties, an idea was proposed to vary the material properties in a gradual manner along the span or thickness. Such advanced materials are known as functionally graded materials (FGMs). Hence, an appropriate method is required to investigate the behaviour of such structures, which can also serve as the benchmark for their optimal design and fabrication. Although numerical methods and commercial finite element packages are available for a variety of structural problems, there is always a need for analytical solutions. The analytical elasticity models can predict the behaviour of segmented structures more accurately as compared to the one or two-dimensional theories or numerical solutions. The extended Kantorovich method is undoubtedly one of the best techniques that offer an analytical solution for complicated problems.
Supervisor: Kumari, Poonam
Department of Mechanical Engineering