Conical shells and components are widely used as nozzles, injectors, rocket fairings, turbine blades, etc. Dynamic and vibration characteristics of conical shells have been investigated over the years. In this paper, electromechanics and distributed sensing phenomena of a generic double-curvature shell and a conical shell are discussed, and governing sensing signal-displacement equations are derived. Spatially distributed modal voltages and signal generations of conical shells laminated with distributed piezoelectric sensor layers or neurons are investigated based on the Donnel-Mushtari-Valsov theory. Distributed modal voltages and their various signal components of conical shell models reveal that the dominating signal component among the four contributing signal components is the circumferential membrane component. This dominance is even more significant for lower shell modes and/or deep shells. In general, high strain regions result in high signal magnitudes. Accordingly, the spatially distributed signal patterns — the modal voltages — clearly represent the modal dynamic and strain characteristics of conical shells.

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