Parameterized Automated Generic Model for Aircraft Wing Structural Design and Mesh Generation for Finite Element Analysis

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Maskinkonstruktion


This master thesis work presents the development of a parameterized automated generic model for the structural design of an aircraft wing. Furthermore, in order to perform finite element analysis on the aircraft wing geometry, the process of finite element mesh generation is automated.

Aircraft conceptual design is inherently a multi-disciplinary design process which involves a large number of disciplines and expertise. In this thesis work, it is investigated how high-end CAD software‟s can be used in the early stages of an aircraft design process, especially for the design of an aircraft wing and its structural entities wing spars and wing ribs.

The generic model that is developed in this regard is able to automate the process of creation and modification of the aircraft wing geometry based on a series of parameters which define the geometrical characteristics of wing panels, wing spars and wing ribs.Two different approaches are used for the creation of the generic model of an aircraft wing which are “Knowledge Pattern” and “PowerCopy with Visual Basic Scripting” using the CATIA V5 software. A performance comparison of the generic wing model based on these two approaches is also performed.

In the early stages of the aircraft design process, an estimate of the structural characteristic of the aircraft wing is desirable for which a surface structural analysis (using 2D mesh elements) is more suitable. In this regard, the process of finite element mesh generation for the generic wing model is automated. The finite element mesh is generated for the wing panels, wing spars and wing ribs. Furthermore, the finite element mesh is updated based on any changes in geometry and the shape of the wing panels, wing spars or wing ribs, and ensure that all the mesh elements are always properly connected at the nodes. The automated FE mesh generated can be used for performing the structural analysis on an aircraft wing.

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