CORDIS - EU research results

Improved Material Exploitation at Safe Design of Composite Airframe Structures by Accurate Simulation of Collapse


European aircraft industry demands for reduced development and operating costs, by 20% and 50% in the short and long term, respectively. COCOMAT contributes to this aim by reducing structural weight at safe design; it exploits considerable reserves in primary fibre composite fuselage structures by accurate and reliable simulation of collapse. Collapse is specified by that point of the load-displacement-curve where a sharp decrease occurs thus limiting the load carrying capacity. Right now collapse of aircraft structures cannot be simulated with sufficient reliability, leading to over-conservative designs. More reliable determination requires knowledge of degradation due to static as well as low cycle loading in the post-buckling range. Improved slow and fast simulation tools as well as design guidelines for stiffened panels are needed which take skin stringer separation and material degradation into account. Reliable fast tools reducing design and analysis time by an order of magnitude, will allow for an economic design process, whereas very accurate but necessarily slow tools are required for the final certification. The project will deliver both types of tools, ready for industrial application. Industry brings in experience with design and manufacture of real shells; research contributes knowledge on testing and on development of simulation tools. Design guidelines are defined in common, and the developed tools are validated by industry. The results comprise a substantially extended data base on material properties and on collapse of undamaged and pre-damaged statically and low cyclically loaded structures, degradation models, improved slow and fast computation tools as well as design guidelines. The knowledge, the experience, the results and especially the fast tools of the running FP 5 project POSICOSS form an excellent basis for COCOMAT and allow to start work at a very high level. Urgent industrial need is manifested by involvement of eight companies.

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