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Rajiv Naik, Jeongho Kim
Design of Aircraft Composite Structures with Service Damages
This project focuses on advanced fiber-reinforced polymer-matrix composite structures, providing significant weight efficiency for aircraft and rotorcraft applications. The goal of this project was to work with Collins Aerospace to enhance the design process for aircraft composite structures assuming risks of random service damages through systematic FEA-based modeling. The team worked with Power and Controls Division of Collins Aerospace to model a representative aircraft tubular structure using FEA to account for the random nature of potential service damages. Representative service damages in the composite were considered as functions of their random sizes and locations. Design characteristics (geometry of the structure, composite layup) and loading parameters were also considered as variables. ABAQUS-based FEA modeling was performed according to the suggested computational test-matrix to analyze the strength of the structure. Generated results allowed us to understand conditions of the worst-case damage and made recommendations for design optimization under such random service conditions. The results can also be useful for efficient and accelerated certification of Collins composite structures for multiple aircraft and rotorcraft systems.