The purpose of the present paper is to develop a new technology for producing magnesium alloy twin-rib aircraft brackets by the forging method.
An overall description of magnesium alloys is given, with particular emphasis placed on magnesium wrought alloys that are used in the aircraft industry. Methods for producing ribbed brackets are discussed and the location of these parts in aircraft structure is described. The forging process for producing AZ31 magnesium alloy twin-rib brackets was modelled numerically, and selected results of the simulations performed are presented. The simulation results were then verified under laboratory conditions using a three-slide forging press equipped with three movable working tools. It was assumed that the use of this machine would allow for obtaining twin-rib aircraft brackets with improved both functional and strength properties compared to the production methods used so far.
The results demonstrate that the method developed by the present authors permits the production of twin-rib brackets. Positive theoretical results and preliminary experimental results prove that it is justified that the research on magnesium alloys used in the aircraft industry be continued.
The production of twin-rib aircraft brackets from magnesium alloys by the technology developed by the present authors would lead to enhanced product quality with simultaneous reduction in production costs (reduced labour costs and material consumption as well as increased process efficiency). At present, magnesium alloy aircraft parts, mainly obtained from semi-finished products imported to Poland, are produced by casting and machining methods. They exhibit, however, much worse properties than elements produced by metal forming methods. In addition to that, the application of machining in the production of these part leads to higher production costs.
The originality of this study stems from the presentation of an innovative metal forming technology for producing twin-rib brackets. This method is unique on a global scale, and its basic assumptions have been granted patent protection. Also, the originality of the study stems from the fact that brackets are made from magnesium alloys, as these light metals are considered the future of structural materials used in the aircraft industry. Given the above, the research on developing the technology for producing parts made from these alloys using a three-slide press is justified.
Financial support of Structural Funds in the Operational Programme – Innovative Economy (IE OP) financed from the European Regional Development Fund – Project “Modern material technologies in aerospace industry”, Nr POIG.01.01.02-00-015/08-00 is gratefully acknowledged.
Dziubinska, A. and Gontarz, A. (2015), "A new method for producing magnesium alloy twin-rib aircraft brackets", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 87 No. 2, pp. 180-188. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-10-2013-0184
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