Circular cylindrical shells are common components in aerospace structures and many other engineering systems, e.g., rockets, tubes, piping systems, peristaltic pumps, storage tanks, etc. Electromechanical actuators laminated on the shell surfaces can certainly strengthen the shell when needed. Or, regulated inputs to the surface actuators can introduce prescribed surface waves to control the shell oscillation. This study is to evaluate spatial actuation characteristics of circular cylindrical shells using segmented electrostrictive actuators. Electrostrictive actuations induced by surface laminated electrostrictive actuators are defined first. Governing equations of a hybrid circular cylindrical shell/electrostrictive actuator system are formulated. The total electrostrictive actuation and its contributing circumferential membrane/bending and longitudinal bending components are evaluated with respect to shell modal characteristics, design parameters and control voltages. The actuator’s quadratic behavior only generate a positive control force or moment and thus an actuator patch can suppress (or amplify) the vibration in the positive (or negative) displacement. Accordingly, the quadratic electrostrictive actuation suggests that appropriate input voltage(s) need to be carefully applied to specific actuator(s) or regions in order to control, but not to amplify, the shell oscillations. Based on the spatially distributed modal actuation, generic design guidelines and optimal actuation locations are proposed.

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