In this contribution we present a new method as a “basic toolbox” for proper design of active composite structures. The characterization of the complete integrated active component is described, including the properties of the hosting composite material, the proper choice and characterization of the active material which is to be integrated and the interaction of both. The finite element model which was used to design the active component is presented. In order to improve prediction accuracy and functionality of this phenomenological modeling approach the behavior of the integrated active material, namely Shape Memory Alloy (SMA), is analyzed separately. New opportunities for additional functionalities are investigated: Two-way actuation due to the stiffness of the hosting composite structure is investigated as well as the possibility to introduce different maximum strain for actuation due to different pre-strains in the actuating material. An application-oriented finite element model able to predict the structure shape in hot and cold states enables more complex designs and demonstrates the potential of this new technology for various applications.

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