Investigation of the effect of fuselage dents on compressive failure load
Lang, Nann C.
Kwon, Young W.
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The main motivation for this thesis study is that significant workload for aging transport aircrafts is related to dent removal from fuselages. This thesis is a preliminary investigation of aircraft fuselage dents using the Finite Element Method (FEM) via FEA ABAQUS software. We investigated single impact dent on fuselage panel at various locations and impact speeds. The material used for our finite element models is Aluminum Alloy 2024-T3, a typical material used for fuselages of older transport aircrafts. Our finite element model consisted of impact analysis, buckling prediction analysis, and postbuckling analysis successively. These analyses were performed on both stiffened and unstiffened aluminum panels. We found that, depending on dent status in aluminum panel, the dent may increase or decrease buckling load of the panel compared to that of the virgin panel (undented). The buckling load of panel with low velocity impact is generally lower than that of the virgin plate. As the impact velocity is increased, buckling load of dented panel increases exceeding buckling load of virgin plate. In addition, we also noticed an existence of critical impact velocity at which the buckling load of the dented panel reached maximum and after which will start to decrease.
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