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Hybrid Laminar Fluid Control 4.0

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HLFC 4.0 (Hybrid Laminar Fluid Control 4.0)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-11-30

. Aircraft manufacturers are continually seeking to reduce their CO2 emissions and to make flights more efficient and environmentally friendly. A very important part of this quest is the reduction of aerodynamic drag during flight; these drag reduction techniques involve, among other things, the development of systems to avoid unwanted aerodynamic effects. One such system is LFC Laminar Flow Control, which includes Hybrid Laminar Flow Control (HLFC).

. The use of HLFC (Hybrid Laminar Flow Control) systems is an important advantage that will significantly improve the aerodynamic efficiency of flights. These systems can be active or passive and although some demonstrators have already been developed on this technology in the past, in this project, the objective is the research, detailed design and manufacture of the different components that integrate this system, above all, with the help of the emergence of new technologies, such as Additive Manufacturing, which allows us to manufacture more complex elements in a simple way. The two options, active and passive, have been studied, although in the end, only the active option will be shown in the demonstrator.

. To be able to assembly the HLFC systems to the leading edge of the wing complex tools were designed and manufactured to obtain aeronautic standards in terms of tolerances and geometry accuracy. Sensorization of the tooling allows the monitoring of the complete assembly process and ensures the process is being done correctly or, if not, understanding what is happening and enabling corrective actions. The objective for this project is to design an assembly means capable of monitoring and dynamically relaying information about the precision of alignment and accumulated stress to technicians during the assembly process. Development of an innovative multifunctional tool capable of integrating the wing leading edge structures using advanced sensors regarding the monitoring of the key parameters during the assembly operations, enabling a real-time manufacturing feedback to the operators with augmented reality methods.

. Another objective of the project is to use innovative technologies such as the additive manufacturing in the whole process (DfAM), increasing the impact of these technologies in the industrial sector. The use of this technology in the project, besides helping to improve the final result, also contributes to promote its use in the aerospace sector.
During the project, several tests have been carried out with different materials, designing and manufacturing several test pieces to obtain more information about their properties and to be able to choose the best option for each element to be manufactured and provide the maximum benefit to the HLFC system, manufacturing and testing test pieces with different materials.
The materials analyzed in these tests have been mainly different polyamides and the technologies used have been: FDM, SLA and SLS.
The total scope of this project will cover the detailed design, manufacturing, validation and testing.

1. Concurrency engineering meetings and requirements collection with the TM and members of consortium to establish the basis of the requirements and the final aim of the design of the tooling and suction system.
2. Several tradeoffs for innovative sensorization and HLFC active and passive system.
3. Definition of the manufacturing technologies, integration aspects and material selections
4. Design, manufacturing and testing of coupons for material selections in ADATICA facilities.
5. Detailed design of the active suction system.
6. Design of the drain system.
7. Design and manufacturing of pressure and tightness testing tool.
8. Design of drilling templates using new manufacturing technologies.
9. Assembly plan, auxiliary tooling and basic design solutions were initiated (GBD stand, spar positioning, ribs positioning and verification).
10. Design, manufacturing, testing and adjustment and commissioning of the assembly tooling, accessories, mounting and handling jigs.
12. Project management and periodic review meetings.
13. Within the tasks of communication and dissemination, generation of the project web page (website under construction) and inclusion of news related to the project, within the web pages of the members of the consortium.
14. The project (pre-completion) was presented within the scope of two industrial trade fairs in Madrid in 2022 and will be presented in at least one trade fair in Madrid in 2023.
15. Over the coming months after the completion of the project, internal and external conferences, workshops, films, events, etc. will be organized and scheduled depending on the definitive results and availability of the GBD and HLFC4.0 system.
After the completion of this project, we can make some conclusions regarding the results expected when the project was started.

The validation of parts produced by additive manufacturing technology will contribute to the development and implementation in the aeronautical sector. The expected growth of the aeronautical market and the requirement to reduce weight, improve performance and increase security will raise the demand of additive manufacturing structures, with all the drag reduction and efficiency improvements that could be directly translated into a huge reduction in CO2 emissions.

Regarding the development of standard methodologies of tools sensorization for industry 4.0 the final results justify the viability of the methods and systems employed - the increased functionality and possibility of avoiding manufacturing errors will provide significant cost reductions when industry 4.0 techniques are further extended.

Once the pandemic produced by COVID-19 seems to have been overcome, it seems that the aeronautical sector returns to the volume figures prior to this pandemic, so the estimated growth of the aeronautical sector continues ahead. This forecast of growth in the future confirms the need for research and development of systems that help reduce polluting emissions, such as the HLFC system, investigated in this project.
Active Suction System Concept
Augmented reality methods
Compressor for active suction system
Tooling assembly concept-1
Compressor Box and exhaust
Tooling assembly concept