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Advanced fuselage and wing structure based on innovative Al-Li alloys

Objective

The project aims at the development and demonstration of a metallic solution combining innovative aluminium
alloys of the Al-Cu-Li family and advanced assembling technologies such as Laser Beam Welding and hybrid
welding. it will be also investigated the potenzial of innovative split-beam process and will be made a comparison with the laser and hybrid arc-laser processes. Aerostructures, including fuselage and wing stiffened panels, are responsible in average for 50% of total aircraft weight. In order to obtain the required panel properties and
a significant weight reduction, the strategy of the project is to combine the most suitable materials with the optimised welding process and an appropriate design. Recently developed low density Al-Cu-Li alloys offer direct
weight reduction of about 5% and the improved property balance versus conventional alloys allows further weight
reduction up to 20% through adapted design. The assembling process is a major field of improvement for the cost effective use of aluminium alloys that will be explored in the project. Laser beam welding had demonstrated in the past to be the best suitable welding technology for flat panel production, especially for fuselage. The main advantages are the very low distortion, the absence of defects and reduced postweld re-work. Hybrid laser welding combines the advantages of laser processes with arc welding resulting in high joint quality and completion rates with increased tolerances to fit up and without compromising joint quality and distortion control.
It is expected to be most suitable for wing panels. The objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of this material and process solution and bring it to a TRL of 4. For this purpose, the welding technology parameters will be optimised for Al-Cu-Li materials, and flat panels representative of the four major parts of the aircraft contributing to the total structure weight (i.e. bottom and crown fuselage and upper and lower wing) will be designed, manufactured and tested.

Call for proposal

SP1-JTI-CS-2011-01
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

JTI-CS - Joint Technology Initiatives - Clean Sky
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Coordinator

AGENZIA NAZIONALE PER LE NUOVE TECNOLOGIE, L'ENERGIA E LO SVILUPPO ECONOMICO SOSTENIBILE
Address
Lungotevere Grande Ammiraglio Thaon Di Revel 76
000196 Roma
Italy
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 38 068
Administrative Contact
Donadio Giovanni (Mr.)

Participants (4)

C-TEC CONSTELLIUM TECHNOLOGY CENTER
France
EU contribution
€ 77 375
Address
725 Rue Aristide Berges Parc Economique Centr'alp
38341 Voreppe Cedex
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Hugh Dunlop (Dr.)
ISTITUTO PER LE RICERCHE DI TECNOLOGIA MECCANICA E PER L'AUTOMAZIONE S.P.A. - ISTITUTO R.T.M. S.P.A.

Participation ended

Italy
EU contribution
€ 78 112,50
Address
Via Circonvallazione 7
10080 Vico Canavese
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Paolo Castelli (Dr.)
TWI LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 62 737,50
Address
Granta Park Great Abington
CB21 6AL Cambridge
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Amanda Beeson (Mrs.)
ESI GROUP
France
EU contribution
€ 83 132
Address
3 Bis Rue Saarinen
94528 Rungis
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Argiris Kamoulakos (Dr.)