Detailed Structural Validation of Aerospace Structures from Sub-system Level Down to Coupon Level, Using Cutting Edge Finite Element Technology Fully Integrated with Design
The aerospace industry is in a state of change currently. New startups are disrupting the established market, and OEMs everywhere are demanding more value from the supply chain. Meanwhile, the components and subsystems involved in the construction of aircraft are getting more complex at every level. In order for these structures to be certified, regulatory requirements with respect to structural strength and deformation, damage tolerance and durability must be met. To prove that they are fulfilled, physical and simulation-based structural validation is performed at different levels from the full-scale structure down to coupon level.
Engineers must prove that strength and deformation requirements are met for each critical loading condition, as well as that the design follows either a damage-tolerant or a safe-life design approach. Several challenges are involved in the structural validation of aerospace structures. In order to effectively influence the design, simulations must be leveraged in the early design phases. Engineers must stick to a compressed timeline to build a database of models for structural validation, while reducing the need for expensive and challenging physical tests.
To address these objectives and increase certification confidence in the early stages of design, highly accurate methods for structural validation, fully integrated with design, are required in all phases of development of an aircraft. These methods are available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which integrates design and structural simulation to facilitate higher product performance and reliability.
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These methods involve several workflows, covering the validation of static and dynamic strength of metal and composite structures; the prediction of residual strength in pre-damaged structures by simulating failure modes such as crack propagation in metals or debonding of composite structures; and the evaluation of fatigue behavior.
These workflows enable engineers to focus simultaneously on the many complex pieces involved in the structural validation puzzle, giving each the attention it requires while allowing the pieces to work together seamlessly.
The simulation capabilities offered on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform improve overall engineering efficiency and allow multiple users or teams to simultaneously work on the creation of structural models for large subsystems. The creation of these structural models can also be automated, greatly reducing meshing and modeling time. Other benefits include high accuracy results, better traceability, as well as more efficient handling of large-scale and detailed models.
Overall, structural simulation, integrated with design on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, not only reduces development time but improves product performance and reduces the risk of not meeting certification requirements. As the aerospace industry becomes more and more competitive, a strong solution for structural validation provides an advantage for aircraft manufacturers as they work to meet regulations and create safe, efficient, optimally performing aircraft.