09 February 2015

Static, fatigue and damage tolerance tests of the A350 winglet.

Tests for the certification of the winglets and wingtips manufactured by FACC have been done at the Composites Lab & Test Center (CoLT), a subsidiary on the company’s premises in St. Martin (Austria).

The entire test specimen (8x2x3m) was analyzed statically and dynamically for long-term and peak loading. The tests also included damage tolerance testing.

Source: Manuel Belleli

Along with standard measurement techniques, for the first time, the FACC subsidiary fully integrated non-contact sensors from GOM in the test setup.

Unlike conventional methods such as strain-gauges the two “pontos” systems recorded 3D displacements and deformations of the winglet.

Optical measuring systems also accelerated the test setup. For instance, 200 strain-gauge positions were marked and applied to the component within one working day.

Source: Clement Alloing

Loads were achieved with 15 servo hydraulic push and pull cylinders, with the force transmitted by 5 yokes. The 2 non-contact sensors measured dynamic deformations at around 220 points, with each point being analyzed 3D.

In addition, more than 2000 synchronized channels measured static strain, deformation, force, pressure and temperature.

During structure testing, the component was loaded statically across several stages to simulate the loads occurring during flight. In this way, the test engineers examined 3 scenarios: maximum torsion and maximum load upward and downward.

During fatigue testing, the engineers ran through real flight profiles to analyze the behavior of the component within one life cycle. During static and fatigue testing, load factors were applied to account for variations in the material properties and possible weight increases in the component.

Source: Teerawut W.

For the damage tolerance tests, the winglet was damaged in advance at certain points. This way, the test engineers simulated manufacturing errors, as well as damage caused by hail impact and bird strikes in order to precisely analyze the effects on material and component behavior under load. 

Based on the article “Non-Contact Measuring Systems Support Certification of Airbus A350” published by  Gom mbH

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