Bonded structures for enhanced damage tolerant pressurized fuselages

Meneghin, Ivan (2009) Bonded structures for enhanced damage tolerant pressurized fuselages, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Disegno e metodi dell'ingegneria industriale, 21 Ciclo.
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Adhesive bonding provides solutions to realize cost effective and low weight aircraft fuselage structures, in particular where the Damage Tolerance (DT) is the design criterion. Bonded structures that combine Metal Laminates (MLs) and eventually Selective Reinforcements can guarantee slow crack propagation, crack arrest and large damage capability. To optimize the design exploiting the benefit of bonded structures incorporating selective reinforcement requires reliable analysis tools. The effect of bonded doublers / selective reinforcements is very difficult to be predicted numerically or analytically due to the complexity of the underlying mechanisms and failures modes acting. Reliable predictions of crack growth and residual strength can only be based on sound empirical and phenomenological considerations strictly related to the specific structural concept. Large flat stiffened panels that combine MLs and selective reinforcements have been tested with the purpose of investigating solutions applicable to pressurized fuselages. The large test campaign (for a total of 35 stiffened panels) has quantitatively investigated the role of the different metallic skin concepts (monolithic vs. MLs) of the aluminum, titanium and glass-fiber reinforcements, of the stringers material and cross sections and of the geometry and location of doublers / selective reinforcements. Bonded doublers and selective reinforcements confirmed to be outstanding tools to improve the DT properties of structural elements with a minor weight increase. However the choice of proper materials for the skin and the stringers must be not underestimated since they play an important role as well. A fuselage structural concept has been developed to exploit the benefit of a metal laminate design concept in terms of high Fatigue and Damage Tolerance (F&DT) performances. The structure used laminated skin (0.8mm thick), bonded stringers, two different splicing solutions and selective reinforcements (glass prepreg embedded in the laminate) under the circumferential frames. To validate the design concept a curved panel was manufactured and tested under loading conditions representative of a single aisle fuselage: cyclic internal pressurization plus longitudinal loads. The geometry of the panel, design and loading conditions were tailored for the requirements of the upper front fuselage. The curved panel has been fatigue tested for 60 000 cycles before the introduction of artificial damages (cracks in longitudinal and circumferential directions). The crack growth of the artificial damages has been investigated for about 85 000 cycles. At the end a residual strength test has been performed with a “2 bay over broken frame” longitudinal crack. The reparability of this innovative concept has been taken into account during design and demonstrated with the use of an external riveted repair. The F&DT curved panel test has confirmed that a long fatigue life and high damage tolerance can be achieved with a hybrid metal laminate low weight configuration. The superior fatigue life from metal laminates and the high damage tolerance characteristics provided by integrated selective reinforcements are the key concepts that provided the excellent performances. The weight comparison between the innovative bonded concept and a conventional monolithic riveted design solution showed a significant potential weight saving but the weight advantages shall be traded off with the additional costs.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Meneghin, Ivan
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Ingegneria industriale
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Damage tolerance, pressurized fuselages, bonded structures, metal laminates, selective reinforcements
Data di discussione
17 Aprile 2009

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