For the European transport industries, saving weight, cost and energy and also improving the performance of components are major economic issues. Therefore, in the last decade, the automotive and aeronautical industries have demonstrated the feasibility of introducing in transport applications aluminium based + particulate reinforced MMC structural eomponents, formed via standard metallurgical processes. The final objective of the project is to develop a set of
complementary models to predict the in service performance of particulate reinforced MMC automotive and aerospace components. These models will address fatigue and crack growth at typical in service temperatures which are key issues in terms of inservice performance for most automotive and aeronautical parts: macroscale fatigue, crack growth and design models will be extended in order to take into account the influence of the composition and microstructure oi MMCs via a micromechanical approach of the constitutive behaviour of MMCs at room and high temperatures.
The models will provide for a given MMC component and associated in service operating conditions (loading, temperature):
the critical zones with a risk of internal damage, crack initiation and failure.
the fatigue life (failuretnon failure, number of cycles to crack initiationtto failure)
the growth of cracks that may initiate from defects (scratch, corrosion, ...).
These models will be used for the optimisation of the components design and life and also for the establishment of maintenance programmes, more particularly in the critical zones. These models will also be applicable to the prediction of the iniluence of the MMC composition (matrix, type and volume fraction of reinforcement) on the in service performance of components. This will result in time and cost savings in the optimisation of the MMC choice and in the development of new MMC applications.
In order to achieve the objective of the project, the technical programme is divided into two complementary stages including both theoretical and experimental approaches: Stage 1: Development and validation of the models from laboratory tests on standard specimens. Stage 2: Validation of the models in the case of more eomplex automotive and aeronautical parts.
With these models, it is expected that:
The duration of the optimisation of MMC components design will be divided by a factor of 2, with an associated cost reduction of 40%.
MMC components life will be increased of at least 20%, resulting in a reduction of the maintenance costs of at least 30%.
Weight saving due to the introduction of MMC components will be at least 10% in the case of helicopters or aircrafts and 5% in the case of cars.
The consortium comprises one MMC component end user and one
manufacturer from the automotive and aeronautical sectors and five research organisations with complementary expertise in the different fields that need to be addressed.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
GU14 0LX R Farnborough - Hampshire