Posts Tagged ‘weight reduction’
|Robert Yancey - Senior Director – Global Aerospace, Altair Engineering|
Composites are flying high in the aircraft industry as manufacturers look for ways to reduce weight, improve performance and create a better customer experience. Composites, of course, weigh considerably less than conventional aluminum and titanium materials, and they offer a number of other benefits as well. These include high stiffness-to-weight ratios, better fatigue performance, non-corrosive characteristics, and less susceptibility to crack growth.
That said, composites are subject to their own distinct problems. The damage modes are far different from those of metals. Delaminations and matrix cracks are common damage modes, and both can occur internal to the structure with no visible damage on the surface. This poses a problem for inspection, so many aircraft manufacturers are embedding sensors into the structure to detect damage. The manufacturing processes also are much different for composites, necessitating different equipment and tooling. The joining methods for composites require different techniques and analysis methods to design and certify.