Development of a new flexible wing concept for unmanned aerial vehicles using corrugated core made by 4D printing of composites

This paper presents the feasibility study of the application of the method of 4D printing of composites for the efficient manufacturing aircraft morphing wings. The wing has upper and lower skin, and a corrugated core. The corrugated core is made using the concept of 4D printing of composites. With this concept, there is no need for a mold with complex geometry to make the corrugated core. Instead, only a flat mold is used. A prototype of the wing was made and tested. It was shown that this wing can the sustain the load of a medium size Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, with flex angle up to 20 degrees.

A presentation by Suong Hoa, Professor / Director, Concordia University, Center for Composites (CONCOM)


Question 1: What drives you?
I have been working on composite materials and structures for more than 40 years, mostly on symmetric composite laminates. The idea of exploiting anisotropy in composites to make evolving composite structures fascinates me.

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
The idea of 4D printing is very new, and there is a mythical aura in it. However, most work on 4D printing use soft and weak materials, and it is difficult to find applications. My presentation shows a potential and interesting application for the 4D printing technology.

Question 3: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
I see that 4D printing can have strong potential for engineering applications in the future.

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
They have strong impact in the packaging and transportation area.

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
It is necessary to present more applications cases, and to inform the public of this potential

About Suong Hoa
Dr. Suong Van Hoa has been a professor at the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering at Concordia university for the past 43 years. He has been working on composite materials and structures for the past 41 years. He conceived the idea of 4D printing of composites, and has been working on this topic for the past 4 years.

About Concordia University
Concordia University is a comprehensive university that was established in 1974. It is located in the heart of Montreal. It has more than 45,000 students in the four faculties of Arts and Science, Fine Arts, the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the John Molson School of Business.

Suong Hoa is speaker at the 2022 edition of the 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference.

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