Fiber Composite Adaptive Systems

Self-organisation is a process through which the internal organisation of the system adapts to the environment to promote a specific function without being controlled from outside. Biological systems have adapted and evolved over several billion years into efficient configurations which are symbiotic with the environment. This research emulates self-organisation process by developing a fibre composite material system that could sense, actuate and efficiently adapt with changing environmental conditions.

The proposed fibre composite adaptive system displays, ‘Integrated Functionality’ the factors such as form, structure, geometry and behaviour form a cohesive synergetic whole which complement one another. Biological organisms display emergent properties as they are organised in complex assemblies over several hierarchical scales. The design proposes a fibre composite adaptive roof structure covering the ruins of the ancient city of Lothal, possesses multiple organisational scales that have different assembly logics at each scale which augment to their behaviour and performative abilities. Hence the system displays emergent behaviour which is not a mere sum of the parts but larger.

This potential of self-actuating adaptive systems can render efficient micro climates by utilising environmental energy. The resultant micro climates within the architectural envelope would be heterogeneous, in contrast to homogeneous interior environments controlled through mechanical means.

Although the proposal is context specific, informed by the climatic data and digital environmental simulations, the adaptive system has the potential for deployment in several environmental contexts. The definition of geometry could be altered to create openings to maximise the solar gain in cold climates in contrast to the closing logic presented here for a hot dry climate.

The further direction in this research would be to test the operational efficiency of the adaptive system by building a full scale working prototype, to test the operational potential of the adaptive system and evolve the manufacturing logics. The technology of embedding shape memory alloys within a fibre composite material is still at its infancy in many fields; for example the aerospace and aviation industries. Nonetheless, the experiments performed at a smaller scale showed promising results.

“I went through the treatise – Fibre Composite Adaptive System – A manifesto into the self-actuating potentials of fibre composite adaptive systems embedded with shape memory alloy actuators” authored by you and published in Germany.  It was really a treat to read the Nano Composites Materials and their applications covered in that document.  I deeply appreciate your knowledge and boldness with which you have embarked upon making in enterprise to manufacture “nano and self-actuating smart fiber composites.”

•Dr Sivathanu Pillai
Scientist, Chief Controller (R&D),
CEO at BRAHMOS Aerospace; Ministry of Defence,
Defence Research and Development Organisation



Fibre Composite Adaptive Systems :
A Manifesto into the Self-Actuating Potentials of FibreComposite Structures Embedded with Shape Memory Alloys
Ramaswamy Sakthivel and M.Mingallon and K. Karatzas
Lambert Academic Publication

Composites and their Applications
Ramaswamy Sakthivel and M. Mingallon, edited by Ning Hu
InTech Publication

Smart and Interactive Textiles – Thigmo – Morphogenetic Fibre Composites Embedded with Shape Memory Alloys
Ramaswamy Sakthivel and M.Mingallon edited by Pietro Vincenzini and Cosimo Carfagna
TransTech Publications, Montecateni Terme,Italy.


Evolo – June – 2010
Fiber Composite Adaptive Systems
RamaswamySakthivel, M. Mingallon and K.Karatzas

Urban Flux – 2010
Smart Materials
Ramaswamy Sakthivel, M. Mingallon and K.Karatzas

Technical Papers

SimAud  – 2010
Associative Modelling of Multi scale Fibre Composite Adaptive Systems
Ramaswamy,Sakthivel, M. Mingallon and K. Karatzas

Technical Posters

Fibre Composite Smart Structures
ASME Society – Wide Micro/Nano Technology Poster Forum at IMECE 2011