Composites Aerospace Consortium Launches Projects
Following the formation of the Canadian Composites Manufacturing R&D Inc. (CCMRD) earlier this year, there has been a concerted effort made by its members to define and launch projects that advance composite materials and technology developments in Canada. These precompetitive, collaborative projects focus on practical manufacturing remedies that include enhancing in-situ processing methods for composite assemblies, investigating innovative out-of-autoclave cured materials and processes and providing a greater understanding of process variables and their effect on product quality that will offer real time solutions in a factory environment. “Members of the consortium, that include Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, The Boeing Company, Comtek Advanced Structures, Convergent Manufacturing Technologies, Cormer Group Industries, Bristol Aerospace, Avior Integrated Products and Profile Composites, have been actively engaged in defining, planning and launching these projects. The group has made good progress and has learned a lot about how to work as a cohesive team. I am very pleased with our performance to date.” cited Mike Hudek, the Executive Director of the CCMRD. Currently, the first phase of one project has been completed leading to approval of a second phase, two projects are commencing and two more are in the detailed planning phase. The project tasks are performed by the members in addition to key technology providers that include the National Research Council’s Institute for Aerospace Research. The centre is virtual in nature with work conducted across Canada utilizing existing resources whenever possible to enable funds to be applied directly to project work and not facilities or equipment. The Composites Innovation Centre is the focal for the organization providing business and project management services and technical support as required. Initiatives are underway to expand membership as well as engage other research organizations to fill technology gaps. Additional information on the consortium can be found at www.ccmrd.ca
Composite Scrubber Stack – Design Optimization
The CIC was recently engaged by Structural Composite Technologies Ltd., a Winnipeg company specializing in custom fabrication of large composite structures for the corrosion industry, to perform an assessment of a large 130 ft. tall fibre reinforced vinyl ester scrubber stack on the East coast. A structural static analysis was performed using NX 7.0 Advanced Simulation finite element software to determine the optimal laminate sequence to minimize material use and weight while ensuring the stack could safely operate in a severe wind storm. The results were used to optimize the number and placement of mounting points and reinforcing ribs. To confirm the design, a model analysis was undertaken to determine the natural frequencies of the stack. These values were compared to the wind vortex shedding frequencies to ensure that the frequency ranges did not overlap. When it was discovered that the wind excitation frequencies closely matched the natural frequency of the structure, design changes were made to disrupt the wind vortex shedding. John Zadro, President of Structural Composite Technologies, stated, “The CIC analysis and model confirmed our concern that the vibrations induced due to vortex shedding around the stack could potentially match the natural frequency of the stack structure. The analysis also identified stresses due to buckling from differential wind loading and gusting. As a result we were able to optimize material placement on the structure with a balance between wall thicknesses throughout the structure, location/size of ribs and the addition of spiral spoilers to change the natural frequency of the stack. The CIC model provided us with a very complete and professional report which we were able to present to our customer.” Since the completion of this project the CIC has further expanded its analysis capabilities by upgrading to NX 7.5, the latest version of the modeling and analysis software and included a non-linear simulation package to enable analysis of large deformations and non-elastic materials.