1992-06-01

The Anatomy of Smart Materials and Structures and Their Influence on Design Practices in Automotive Engineering 921085

This paper presents an exposition on the embryonic eclectic field of smart materials and structures, prior to discussing how this class of biomimetic materials will influence design practices in the field of automotive engineering. The development of smart structures typically involves the macroscopic synthesis of materials with both functional and structural properties by exploiting biomimetic philosophies. The most innovative class of these macroscopically adaptive materials typically feature combinations of actuators, sensors, and microprocessing capabilities which enable these materials to actively change their mass, stiffness and energy-dissipation characteristics in real-time. Such capabilities are particularly relevant to the numerous automotive systems that must operate under variable service conditions and in unstructured environments.

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