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DIALFAST
Development of Innovative and Advanced Laminates for Future Aircraft Structure

Background

New, super-efficient aircraft require new, advanced materials; therefore the development of a new generation of fibre metal laminates (FML) and metal laminates (ML) is necessary. These new laminates should provide significantly improved strength and stiffness properties for tailored fuselage applications. It is necessary to develop material models and static failure criteria for the prediction of the material behaviour of FML and ML, in both the microscopic and the macroscopic scale, for easier design with these new laminates.

Project objectives

The fatigue properties of these innovative laminates, which are not yet available, are required to match those of the rather expensive GLARE® material. The objective is to attain a significantly increased static behaviour and a well-balanced combination of mechanical properties. The high manufacturing costs of FML will be reduced by using less expensive material systems, such as high performance ML. The technological objective is a fuselage skin weight reduction of up to 30% when compared to GLARE‚. This is achieved by an increase in static properties. The strategic objectives are to obtain an increase in the operational capacity of 10%, a reduction in the direct operating cost of 10% and finally a reduction in the fuel consumption of 10%, thus reducing the environmental impact with regard to emissions and noise. The strategic and economic objective is a reduction in the product cost of 5% derived from a material cost reduction of 20%.



Description of the work

New fibre metal laminates and metal laminates that provide significantly improved strength and stiffness properties for tailored fuselage applications will be developed. This will be achieved by the use of alternative constituents such as new fibres, advanced metals and modified pre-preg systems. The mechanical and fatigue properties of the newly developed materials will be tested, as will the production process, which includes pre-treatment and bonding. It will be investigated if existing joining concepts are suitable for the new laminates but the manufacturing costs of FML will be reduced by using less expensive material systems such as high performance ML. Appropriate manufacturing and joining technologies require validation for the progressive laminates. Corrosion is a problem to be quantified and resolved with new sizing and treatments. Material models and static failure criteria for the prediction of the material behaviour of FML and ML in both the microscopic and the macroscopic scale will be developed and verified. Finally, optimisation criteria for the design of coupons and structural elements will be developed and experimentally verified for laminates with the aim to reduce the overall weight of the aircraft fuselage.

Expected results

The expected result is a material with significantly increased static behaviour and a well-balanced combination of mechanical properties, accompanied by a reduction of manufacturing costs of FML and a fuselage skin weight reduction. There will be an increase in operational capacity, a reduction in direct operating costs, a reduction in fuel consumption and thus a reduced environmental impact with regard to emissions and noise.

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