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WASIS:Iinnovative project to design and develop new wafer structures for transport aircraft

WASIS project, entitled “Composite fuselage section Wafer Design Approach for Safety Increasing in Worst Case Situations and Joints Minimizing” aims to develop an all composite prototype fuselage section structure based on the wafer (also called lattice) structural approach.

In the first year, WASIS explored the wafer structural approach and designed a new fuselage section based on the Piaggio P180. This prototype fuselage section, was designed to bear the same load cases as its metallic reference structure. Sizing was initially performed analytically followed by static and dynamic FEM simulations, which were conducted to determine stiffness, failure indexes and behaviour under different impact situations (such as emergency landing situations, hail damage, or low speed impacts). Also during this first year, demonstration pieces were designed and manufactured by Consortium partners to present at the first year review the feasibility of the manufacturing processes (filament winding and tape placement). WASIS is already in the last stages of its second year. During that year WASIS project has focused on improving the fuselage section design, and has started researching the micro-pin joints and the reels that will be used on the structure to avoid cutting fibres and to improve the load transfer from the metallic frame to the composite section. This has also contemplated the design and first manufacturing trials of the attachment frames, which will be the metallic interface between the composite section and the rest of the plane. Several scaled down prototypes have been designed using buckling behaviour as the reference scaling criteria. Two different size prototypes have been designed: one will be a 1 m diameter prototype, while the original structure is 1.8 m diameter, and a smaller size prototype that will be 0.5 m diameter. Different manufacturing assessment trials have been conducted to make sure all the concepts can be included into the production of this prototypes: making skin and ribs together, with attachment frames, and with the embedded reels. Also different tests have been run to optimize the mandrel materials and performance. In the last year and a half of the programme, WASIS will be manufacturing prototypes and will start a testing campaign based on a constructed building block approach, to effectively demonstrate the performance of the structure and validate the developed design. The Consortium is composed by 11 partners: 5 are academic institutions and research centres (Cidaut Foundation, National Aerospace University KhAI, University of Patras, Inegi, and the Insitut for Verbundwerkstoffe); 4 others are SMEs (AOES group, MERL Ltd, CirComp GmbH, and Netcomposites); and the last two partners are one industrial end user (PiaggioAero) and the Comite Europeen de Normalisation (CEN).

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