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Adaptive Multifunctional Test Rigs for Aeronautical Structures

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - AMTRAS (Adaptive Multifunctional Test Rigs for Aeronautical Structures)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-10-31

CleanSky 2 has addressed the development of new aircraft concepts and architectures including new materials and manufacturing. In this respect, Adaptive Multifunctional Test Rigs for Aeronautical Structures (hereinafter, AMTRAS) project will contribute to the CleanSky 2 objectives with the development of innovative multifunctional Test Rigs, with high performance instrumentation and multishape capability ready to test structural behavior of new materials (test panels) and full-scale demonstrators (tail cone) representative of those architectures. The flexibility and accuracy provided by AMTRAS Test Rigs will contribute to time-to-market minimization by significantly reducing the time span from concept to validated design
To achieve flexibility, AMTRAS will be built by:
• A multi-point forming based multishape fixture, that eliminates readjustment costs related to changes in test panels or tail unit geometry and minimizes the cost related to test setting time
• A flexible base bench where placing the multishape fixture, providing the test rigs with high versatility related to sizes and geometries
• Development of Machine Vision based Non-contact deformation monitoring and measurement system.
To ensure a high rigidity and precision capabilities in the mechanical systems included, is basic to obtain a reliable result from structural test. Accordingly, AMTRAS will employ the state-of-the-art numerical simulation techniques to validate the performance of the designed multishape fixture.
Considering the importance of developing control and measure systems that achieve the less possible interference with test results, under AMTRAS project cutting edge machine vision technologies for the displacement measurement will be integrated, allowing to numerically replicate the loading process. In pursuance of achieving a flexible and automatic evaluation of such innovative structures and materials.
Objective 1: To design and develop flexible mechanical systems for integration on adaptive multifunctional Tests Rigs
• To design shape-adaptive flexible tooling system
• To design Test Rig platform with several mounting position to ensure multishape adaptability
Objective 2: To develop new monitoring systems based on machine vision
• To define Non-contact monitoring technology applied to online distortion measurement for aeronautical structures and defects detection
• To develop a Machine Vision based deformation monitoring and measurement system
Objective 3: To develop a numerical simulation model based on FEM
• To develop numerical simulations tools to assist the conceptual/design/manufacturing stages of the process.
• To perform high accuracy numerical simulation models to predict the results of the Tests
Objective 4: To integrate and validate adaptive multifunctional Tests Rigs
• To develop an adaptive multifunctional Test Rig for structural test of multishape panels
• To develop an adaptive multifunctional Test Rig for structural test on Tail unit
• Delivery and final validation and adjustment in Topic Manager facilities
From the beginning of the project, the work performed has covered all the different work packages of the project, as it is indicated in the deliverables reports.
AIMEN has been working all together with the Topic Manager to define the specifications for the different multishape adaptive test rigs in order to achieve all the objectives of the tests.
This project is divided in three test rigs for Airbus Defense and Space (ADS), and one for Airbus Helicopters (AHE). In this period, AIMEN has worked in the definition of the test requirements of all the mentioned test rigs. As the different milestone reports indicate, the status of these parts is indicated below:
o Stringer Crippling: completely designed, manufactured and delivered
o Stringer Run Out: completely designed, manufactured and delivered
o Stringer Subcomponent: completely designed, manufactured and delivered
o Test requirements have been defined
o Preliminary design has been made
o PDR meeting has taken place, and it was passed without any major actions
o Starting detailed design stage

In parallel, a lot of effort has been put into different management tasks, to avoid misalignments between the different parties involved in the project. A lot of information needs to be gathered before any design or manufacturing work gets started, and different milestones have been covered to get the final approval of the different test rigs designs.
Another key area of the project is the development of new numerical simulation models, which help in the design process, saving time and money as well as optimizing the designs according to the mechanical stress of the different test configurations.
Additionally, a plan of dissemination and a public website have been created to achieve the following objectives:
• To raise awareness and interest of potential customers of the project results
• To potentiate interaction with stakeholders and potential customers to obtain key feedback on the target market to enhance exploitation opportunities and smooth the path to market uptake of the developed technology
• To ensure a broad applicability of the project results taking into consideration regulations and standards.
Lastly, for the integration of machine vision to control deformations on the specimens, some test have been performed in order to clarify the feasibility of this technology for the final tests of this project. The technology is powerful and accurate in small specimens, but the area to be analyzed needs to be very narrow and, which is not the scenario in this project with big aircraft components being tested. Having seen these results, conventional strain gauges are being used in the test for the deformation data acquisition.
In this regard, there are two key points of the project that mean a progress over the existing technology: machine vision deformation control and FEM simulation models.
The machine vision system developed to control and measure the deformation means a big advance over the conventional methods of deformation measurement. This system saves a lot of time when checking the geometry once the test has been completed, and it also saves time if the geometry needs to be changed in an advanced stage of the project that, with conventional method, would involve an absolute change in the checking strategy and tooling.
With this kind of contactless technology, results are hugely easy to read and understand, easy to modify when the geometry to control needs to be changed and times and costs are drastically reduced all along the testing process.
When talking of FEM simulation, as indicated in the project proposal document, many works have already been carried out, but every scenario is different, so the main goal was to develop new simulation for the AMTRAS flexible tooling specifically. Every test configuration has been studied, and specific focus and solutions have been applied in each case. The application of FEM simulation has had an important impact in time and cost savings and also, in the AHE preliminary design, it has been the most important resource to achieve an optimized design for many parts of the load application system-
Screenshot for Bank design without the AHE part