Increased precision in the validation and verification of aeronautical structures
Participants: The project was led by Applus+ Laboratories (LGAI Technological Center S.A.), in partnership with UdG-AMADE research group, University of Girona (Spain).
Funding: The project was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness as part of the “Social Challenges” programme and was co-funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund.
The objective of Project ABSOLUTE was to develop a methodology which would help to validate mathematical models used in virtual structural tests in order to reduce the discrepancies between the results of simulated and real structural tests.
ABSOLUTE allowed the development and validation of a new testing methodology to more precisely identify the influence of boundary conditions in a structural test using complex loads or tooling. This methodology has improved the correlation between simulated and real tests.
To achieve the different challenges that the project posed, Applus+ Laboratories brought its testing capacity and commercial testing experience, while the University of Girona contributed by developing finite element models which mimic the conditions of a real test.
The new methodology was validated as part of a test carried out on a complex aeronautical subcomponent. This demonstrated that, thanks to improvements in finite element modelling, the methodology does improve predictions of test performance. The project has also helped to define new research methods into real testing boundary conditions, proposing instrumentation compatible with commercial budgets for this type of testing.
Thanks to this project, the Applus+ structural testing laboratory can now offer new services to its clients in the aerospace and transport sectors as well as to the energy industry and large scientific installations. Clients in these sectors demand high levels of precision when validating advanced calculation models, a requirement met by this methodology.
The results of this project have also opened new lines of research, thanks to newly identified challenges related to the industrial implementation of this methodology. For example, areas of improvement were detected in metrological methods which can allow for certain testing parameters to be identified without adversely affecting testing times or costs. In this line, new opportunities for improvements using advanced contactless tools were defined.