Material simulation technology to boost EU aircraft industry

May 27, 2014
Material simulation technology to boost EU aircraft industry

Accurately predicting the mechanical behaviour of composite aircraft structures on impact could reduce the need for physical tests, cut industry costs and ultimately save lives through better aircraft design. This is the focus of the EU CRASHING project, which aims to develop new methods of testing materials through multi-scale computer simulation.

Composite - materials made from two or more substances that when combined produce a material with new characteristics - are widely used as principal structural elements in . Before such materials can be used however, a complete understanding of their is required

This R&D phase can be time consuming and prohibitively expensive. The two-year CRASHING project aims to address this by building on recent progress made in multi-scale modelling, which can solve physical problems that occur at different levels and be applied to different materials. This makes it ideal for the purposes of the aeronautics industry. CRASHING will focus on used in current aircraft design, as well as on innovative materials with potential applications in the future.

Applied to the aircraft industry, this multi-scale approach will be used to examine material behaviour at different levels, from the molecular right up to how components interact. Computer models will then be developed to provide accurate simulations of what happens when an aircraft crash-lands, is hit by ice or is exposed to other extreme impacts.

Ultimately, it is hoped that CRASHING will lead to a significant reduction in the number of physical tests required for aircraft certification, and reduce the development time of new structural components. This in turn will have a beneficial effect on the European economy; the European aerospace industry is a key high-tech sector of the EU, employing hundreds of thousands of people and generating billions of euros in turnover.

In fact, the EU has a trade surplus for aerospace products, which are exported all over the world. Ensuring European competitiveness in this field is a priority.

The CRASHING project, funded by the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI-Clean Sky) within the EU's 7th Framework Programme, is being led and coordinated by the IMDEA Materials Institute in Spain. IMDEA will be responsible for the development and validation of the multi-scale models at the different levels. The other partner of the consortium, the Carlos III University of Madrid, will be in charge of the experimental characterisation of materials under impact. CRASHING, which was launched in April 2014, is due to run until 2016.

Clean Sky is one of the most ambitious aeronautical research programmes to be launched in Europe. It aims to develop and encourage the commercialisation of breakthrough technologies that will lead to less noisy, safer and more fuel efficient aircraft. The Clean Sky JTI is a unique Public-Private Partnership between the Commission and industry.

Explore further: Supercomputing for materials simulation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research improves the bolted joints in airplanes

Jun 13, 2011

A research project at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid that analyzes the bolted joints used in the aeronautical industry has determined the optimum force that should be applied so that they may better withstand ...

Supercomputing for materials simulation

May 09, 2014

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and international partners are using advanced supercomputers to develop a new framework for accurate materials simulation.

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

Apr 16, 2014

Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of "MatHero". The new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at making ...

Novel ways of substituting critical raw materials

Dec 19, 2012

How to be more resourceful is a dilemma facing us all as we strive to reduce, reuse, recycle and substitute. Now an EU project is focusing on the latter with the substitution of critical raw materials.

European Union eyes better small aircraft

Feb 05, 2007

A $548,000 (280,000 pound) grant to engineers at Britain's University of Manchester could lead to cheaper, lighter and "greener" small passenger aircraft.

Recommended for you

Intelligent materials that work in space

20 hours ago

ARQUIMEA, a company that began in the Business Incubator in the Science Park of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, will be testing technology it has developed in the International Space Station. The technology ...

Using sound to picture the world in a new way

Oct 22, 2014

Have you ever thought about using acoustics to collect data? The EAR-IT project has explored this possibility with various pioneering applications that impact on our daily lives. Monitoring traffic density ...

User comments : 0