Concept and Objectives:

AREA aims to ensure cost efficiency in air transport focusing on reduction of aircraft acquisition costs. Innovative solutions and technologies must result in lower lead time and costs of the aircraft from design to production, with a more competitive supply chain.

The current proposal relates to topic AAT2008.4.1.1: “Design Systems and Tools”. For this topic it is stated in the Work Programme that the proposal should makes contributions in the mentioned AREA aim by:

* Development of advanced methods and computational tools in the fields of structural analysis

* Concepts and methodologies for efficient multi-site product development in support of the extended enterprise.

The project contributes to the mentioned costs / lead times reduction and a more competitive supply chain by enabling companies in the supply chain to seamlessly couple their analysis capabilities by thoroughly solving analysis model interfacing and by providing a definable combination of accuracy, ease of use and intellectual property protection.

The project delivers advanced methods and computational tools for structural analysis.

More specifically the deliverables enable coupling of finite element based structural analysis models of different origin and modelling fidelity, with no interaction during initial model creation. The coupling will be generic (linear, non-linear, static, dynamic, shell-to-shell, solid-to-shell) and automatic. It will be applied on 4 different industrial use cases.

Several approaches will be pursued in competition, making use of a common finite element research package. The best of class for a given application type will be implemented in a commercial grade finite element code. So models can be created independently by different partners at different locations, concurrently, with a minimum of communication needed. This results in an efficient multi-site product development methodology in support of the extended enterprise.

GLFEM Results in brief:

Streamlining aircraft development

Aircraft are composed of individual components often designed and produced at different locations. Scientists have developed an automated linking procedure to seamlessly couple models for faster delivery of better aircraft at lower cost.

The aerospace industry is focused on reducing aircraft costs through reductions in time and money throughout the entire design and production pipeline. Computer-based design tools are an important way to achieve these goals by enabling structural analysis of various materials under both static and dynamic loading conditions. The advantage of using computers is that it obviates the need for an intensive experimental campaign.

To accurately model aircraft behaviour, the models representing all the individual components need to be combined. This is problematic as models can come from different sources using different codes, different scales of resolution, and different demands for accuracy and efficiency. The EU-funded project ‘Generic linking of finite element based models’ (GLFEM) solved this problem with a procedure for automatic linking of finite element method (FEM) models.

Scientists took seven coupling approaches from the literature to join FEM models of different origins. This enabled the super-positioning of a detailed model retrieved from a coarse model. In addition, researchers developed techniques to divide a structure into manageable parts for efficient analysing the dynamics of larger structures. The seven methods were demonstrated within the FEM codes ABAQUS and B2000++ on three typical use cases for the aircraft industry.

Seamless and automatic model interfacing will enable companies to collaborate productively for better aircraft designs in less time and at a lower cost. GLFEM results are expected to have major impact on the competitiveness of the EU aerospace industry. Additionally, this will pave the way for incorporating other automatic coupling procedures-of-benefit to numerous manufacturing sectors.

Public Documents

Periodic Report Summary
Periodic Report Summary 2
Final Report Summary