For morphing wing skin applications, low in-plane stiffness is advantageous to reduce the cost of actuation and high out-of-plane stiffness is required to withstand the aerodynamic loads. A proposed solution is to engineer a composite material made of a honeycomb support combined with a multi-state infill that can reduce the Young’s modulus for a low in-plane stiffness. Assuming thin beam theory and using the potential energy formulation, equivalent in-plane Young’s moduli can be calculated for a range of honeycomb cell geometries. The out-of-plane deflection of a representative plate fixed on all edges is calculated using flat plate theory and used to assess the performance of the skin system. To optimize the cell geometry for a given application, the out-of-plane deflection is constrained and the honeycomb cell geometry varied to investigate the design space. Results show that a skin can be designed to have in-plane Young’s moduli similar to the polymer infill and still have a low out-of-plane deflection. However, these results come at the expense of increased skin weight. Further analysis to obtain a more realistic design is done by imposing weight and geometric constraints.

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