Aero-thermo-elastic flutter analysis of coupled plate structures in supersonic flow with general boundary conditions
The coupled plates are commonly seen in flight vehicle structures, which are always subjected to a severe combination of thermal, aerodynamic and mechanical loads during the cruise. In this paper, a unified solution is derived for the aero-thermo-elastic flutter problems of the coupled plate structure with general boundary conditions, in which the classical and elastic boundary conditions can be dealt with. The Mindlin plate theory in conjunction with the supersonic piston theory to consider the supersonic flow effect is adopted to formulate the theoretical model of the heated coupled plate structure subjected to supersonic flow. Each displacement component of the coupled plate is constructed as a two-dimensional Fourier series supplemented with auxiliary functions in order to satisfy the possible boundary conditions. The flutter analysis of a single flat plate, to which great efforts have been devoted, can be considered as a special case in the proposed model by setting the coupling angle of the coupled plate equal to zero. A considerable number of numerical cases are presented to show the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed method. The effects of the aerodynamic pressure, boundary condition, coupling spring and temperature change on the flutter characteristics of the coupled plate are also discussed in detail. The present formulation permits to analyze the flutter problems of the coupled plate having arbitrary coupling angles and boundary conditions.