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Advisory system development for reliable FEM modelling in aerospace

Laszlo Hetey (Department of Applied Mechanics and Astronautics, Cranfield University, Cranfield, United Kingdom)
James Campbell (Department of Applied Mechanics and Astronautics, Cranfield University, Cranfield, United Kingdom)
Rade Vignjevic (Department of Applied Mechanics and Astronautics, Cranfield University, Cranfield, United Kingdom)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the development of an advisory system that helps building sound finite element (FE) models from computer-aided design data, with actual uncertainty levels expressed by error values in per cent, as today there is no widely accepted tool for FE idealisation error control.

Design/methodology/approach

The goal is to provide a computer-aided engineering (CAE) environment which assists the FE modelling phase. A demonstration program has been developed that leads the user through a step-by-step process and helps to detect idealisation errors. Uncertainties are identified and analysed following the procedure. An example illustrates the methodology on the collapse analysis of aerospace stiffened panels.

Findings

The design shows how a knowledge-based system can be used to aid a safe virtual product development.

Research limitations/implications

The extension of current CAE environments is difficult, as the programs do not provide sufficient flexibility, changeability and FE solver independence. New developments can take the presented concept as a starting point.

Practical implications

The application of error control strategies increases the FE modelling fidelity and can prevent incorrect design decisions. The practical conversion of FE idealisation support depends on the ambitions of CAE software providers.

Originality/value

This research shows how a previously paper-and-pencil-based error control procedure can be transformed to an easy-to-use tool in modern software.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work presented in this paper was financially supported by the project MUSCA (“non-linear static MUltiSCAle analysis of large aero-structures”), partially funded by the European Union under the Sixth Framework Programme (Project Reference 516115). The authors would like to thank the OpenCascade forum community, Prof Alan Morris, Prof Tetsuyo Tomiyama, Dr Christian Sandor and Dirk Schumann for their support and the reviewers for their advice.

Citation

Hetey, L., Campbell, J. and Vignjevic, R. (2015), "Advisory system development for reliable FEM modelling in aerospace", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 87 No. 1, pp. 11-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-04-2013-0067

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited