A Review on Bistable Composite Laminates for Morphing and Energy Harvesting

Samir A. Emam, Daniel J. Inman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Citations (Scopus)


Bistable composite laminates have received a considerable attention due to their fabulous behavior and potential for morphing and energy harvesting. A bistable or multistable laminate is a type of composite structure that exhibits multiple stable static configurations. The characterization of unsymmetric fiber-reinforced laminated composite plates as a bistable structure is well established and quantitatively determined after about 30 years of research. As predicting cured shapes of unsymmetric composite laminates became well identified, attention was directed to the design of these structures for morphing applications. Bistable composite laminates have attracted researchers as a morphing structure because a bistable structure settles at one of its equilibrium positions without demanding continuous power to remain there. If the structure is triggered to leave an equilibrium position, it will snap or jump to the other equilibrium position. The snapthrough response is highly geometrically nonlinear. With the increased demand for broadband vibration energy harvesters, bistable composite laminates, which are able to gain large-amplitude vibrations in snapthrough motion, have recently attracted attention. This paper aims to summarize, review, and assess references and findings concerned with the response of bistable composite laminates for morphing and energy harvesting to date. It also highlights the remaining challenges and possible future research work as research in bistable composites transitions from phenomena to application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060803
JournalApplied Mechanics Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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