Modeling and Simulation of Hybrid Materials/Structures for Sustainment Applications
Small Business Information
750 Old Hickory Blvd, Bldg. 2, Suite 270, Brentwood, TN, -
AbstractThe United States Air Force (USAF) operates one of the world"s largest fleets with an average age approaching 26 years. As the USAF transport fleet continues to age, costs of inspections, structural repairs, and component replacements will continue increasing. Given this large number of aircraft approaching their life limit, USAF engineers are considering alternative strategies for its airframe fleet. Fiber Metal Laminate (FML) GLARE (glass-reinforced aluminum laminate) is one such innovation considered to reduce weight and increase safety. To utilize the benefits of the FML concept for design of aerospace structures and keep testing at a minimum, programs are needed to develop analytical prediction methods that capture all relevant failure criteria. Phase I will develop a probabilistic structural analysis framework incorporating mechanistic computational models to predict fatigue reliability of FML structural components. Phase I will develop probabilistic computational methology for predicting crack initiation in the metal layer and subsequent delamination growth in the composite layer. VEXTEC will demonstrate feasibility by comparing preliminary modeling results against published experimental data. VEXTEC intends to develop and commercialize an open set of tools for FML design within our existing Virtual Life Management (VLM) technology product line. BENEFIT: Scheduled, airframe and special inspections together account for 37% of USAF aircraft maintenance man-hours. New means to predict crack initiation and growth in component-metal structures will help to reduce inspection requirements
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