New Advances in Aerospace Design, Predictive Analysis for Discontinuous Fiber Composites

Greene, Tweed completes first phase of material allowables testing and finite analysis model development for accurate predictive design analysis with its Xycomp® DLF® (discontinuous long fiber) thermoplastic composite aerospace products.

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Our advantage is that once we can perform predictive analysis, we’ll be able to design a part that’s exactly what the customer needs, and that will get through certification faster because we’ll have the data to back it up.

Kulpsville, PA (PRWEB) June 18, 2013

Greene, Tweed, a global manufacturer of high-performance solutions, has completed the first phase of material allowables testing and finite analysis model development necessary to enable accurate predictive design analysis with its Xycomp® DLF® (Discontinuous Long Fiber) thermoplastic composite aerospace products. Remaining phases are in progress, allowing the company to engineer more efficient components with highly accurate results in a shorter amount of time.

Achieving this capability has involved investment in extensive material testing, analysis, and predictive modeling development which is proceeding in stages. Phase one began with collecting mechanical performance data on multiple batches of material, processed under various conditions and exposed to a wide range of environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, and fatigue. The results are used to formulate predictive models which depict the material’s probable behavior in any situation. Ultimately, all of this information is loaded into engineering software for designing new components.

“The end goal is to accurately predict what’s going to happen to any part, regardless of geometric complexity or material processing characteristics,” says Kyle Ingram, Aerospace Composites Engineering Manager at Greene, Tweed. “It means you give me the requirements, say ‘I need something to hold a 5,000 pound load that’s going to attach here and here,’ and I’ll give you a part that’s going to do the job, that will be more efficient and lighter weight than alternatives.”

Discontinuous fiber components can be designed without the use of material allowables and predictive models, but having the data and accurate models can substantially reduce the amount of component testing necessary for validation. This is particularly true for aerospace products, due to certification requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). “Without reliable analysis, we have to make and test quite a few parts to establish and validate performance of that specific part,” says Mr. Ingram. “It can become expensive, and time consuming.”

As a discontinuous fiber material, Xycomp DLF is particularly suited for producing components with complex geometric features, adding to the design challenge. “Our advantage,” says Mr. Ingram, “is that once we can perform predictive analysis, we’ll be able to design a part that’s exactly what the customer needs, and that will get through certification faster because we’ll have the data to back it up.”

In a recent example, Greene, Tweed was able to help a major airframer consolidate multiple parts in its nacelle system. “The manufacturer asked us to review three parts in the nacelle,” says Mr. Ingram, “but our evaluation and analysis showed we could combine the three existing parts into a single molded DLF part with the same functionality. And now we’re going forward with just one part because we could show that it was a better solution.”

Of the time and cost invested in testing and modeling development, Mr. Ingram says it is more than worthwhile. “It means our customers will have higher confidence in our parts, the parts will be better designed, and they will be much faster to bring to market.”

Greene, Tweed leverages expertise in a variety of markets and products to give customers the most innovative solutions to meet performance challenges and reduce total cost of operation. With fully qualified engineering, sales and support personnel located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, Greene, Tweed delivers solutions to individual customer applications on a global scope. Greene, Tweed products are sold and distributed worldwide. For additional information, contact Greene, Tweed at +1.215.256.9521 or visit http://www.gtweed.com.


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