Elastomeric Actuators on Airfoils for Aerodynamic Control of Lift and Drag

Jingjin Xie, James B. McGovern, Rutvij Patel, Woobiehn Kim, Saugata Dutt, Aaron D. Mazzeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper investigates and characterizes the aerodynamic performance of a unique platform of airfoils with inflatable, elastomeric actuators. By controlling the actuators integrated in 3D-printed airfoils, it is possible to manipulate aerodynamic lift and drag. The pseudo flap can increase lift by a factor of 20-300%. The top-front inflated design increases lift and stalling angle at high angles of attack (>12 °). Comparisons between numerical simulations and experiments verify the efficacy of the outlined approach. This work is the first to describe the dynamic fluid-soft material interactions for both lift and drag of inflatable actuators embedded in stiff structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-960
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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