Aero-/hydro-elastic stability of flexible panels: Prediction and control using localised spring support
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NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Sound and Vibration. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol. 332, Issue (26). (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.jsv.2013.08.012
We study the effect of adding localised stiffness, via a spring support, on the stability of flexible panels subjected to axial uniform incompressible flow. Applications are considered that range from the hydro-elasticity of hull panels of high-speed ships to the aero-elasticity of glass panels in the curtain walls of high-rise buildings in very strong winds. A two-dimensional linear analysis is conducted using a hybrid of theoretical and computational methods that calculates the system eigen-states but can also be used to capture the transient behaviour that precedes these. We show that localised stiffening is a very effective means to increase the divergence-onset flow speed in both hydro- and aero-elastic applications. It is most effective when located at the mid-chord of the panel and there exists an optimum value of added stiffness beyond which further increases to the divergence-onset flow speed do not occur. For aero-elastic applications, localised stiffening can be used to replace the more destructive flutter instability that follows divergence at higher flow speeds by an extended range of divergence. The difference in eigen-solution morphology between aero- and hydro-elastic applications is highlighted, showing that for the former coalescence of two non-oscillatory divergence modes is the mechanism for flutter onset. This variation in solution morphology is mapped out in terms of a non-dimensional mass ratio. Finally, we present a short discussion of the applicability of the stabilisation strategy in a full three-dimensional system.
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