This paper aims to provide a shimming method based on scanned data and finite element analysis (FEA) for a wing box assembly involving non-uniform gaps. The effort of the present work is to deal with gap compensation problem using hybrid shims composed of solid and liquid forms.
First, the assembly gaps of the mating components are calculated based on the scanned surfaces. The local gap region is extracted by the seed point and region growth algorithm from the scattered point cloud. Second, with the constraints of hole margin, gap space and shim specification, the optional shimming schemes are designed by the exhaustive searching method. Finally, the three-dimensional model of the real component is reconstructed based on the reverse engineering techniques, such as section lines and sweeping. Using FEA software ABAQUS, the stress distribution and damage status of the joints under tensile load are obtained for optimal scheme selection.
With the scanned mating surfaces, the non-uniform gaps are digitally evaluated with accurate measurement and good visualization. By filling the hybrid shims in the assembly gaps, the joint structures possess similar load capacity but stronger initial stiffness compared to the custom-shimmed structures.
This method has been tested with the interface data of a wing tip, and the results have shown good efficiency and automation of the shimming process.
The proposed method can decrease the manufacturing cost of shims, shorten the shimming process cycle and improve the assembly efficiency.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.51375442). They would also like to thank the editors and the anonymous referees for their insightful comments.
Wang, Q., Dou, Y., Cheng, L. and Ke, Y. (2017), "Shimming design and optimal selection for non-uniform gaps in wing assembly", Assembly Automation, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 471-482. https://doi.org/10.1108/AA-02-2017-021Download as .RIS
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