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News

Senior scientists discuss composite testing harmonisation and damage tolerance at SAMPE Conference

Element Materials Technology : 10 November, 2013  (Company News)
Two of Element Materials Technology's Engaged Experts were invited to share their expertise at a conference organised by the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). The senior scientists, Drs Rod Martin and Stefanos Giannis, were asked to provide guidance in a discussion on industry standards and to present innovative research findings to academics and fellow professionals.
Held across four days in the international aerospace hub of Wichita, KS, the SAMPE Tech conference drew nearly 1400 attendees and its programme included presentations and panel discussions from internationally-recognised leaders in advanced materials and processes.
 
Martin, Division Director UK at Element, was invited by ASTM International, the respected body responsible for the development and delivery of international standards, to participate in an open panel event discussing how the composites industry might implement testing harmonisation. The debate centred on the standardisation of measurement units for composites and included contributions from OEMs, tier one suppliers and equipment manufacturers, including representatives from Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Spirit AeroSystems.
 
Giannis, Sector Manager, Aerospace & Energy at Element, presented a paper highlighting how the use of NDT data could deliver more targeted damage tolerance and fracture mechanics test programmes. The paper, entitled Maximising the Benefit of Non-Destructive Inspection Data to Evaluate the Damage Tolerance Performance, detailed how testing companies such as Element can acquire a more complete understanding of composite component behaviour prior to laboratory testing through non-destructive data acquisition and numerical simulation.
 
The paper discusses the development and validation of a process of converting NDT C-scan data into FE model input for damage evaluation (NDT2DT). Two composite components were tested and comprehensively analyzed during the validation process. Impact tests were performed and the resulting damage was fully characterised by means of ultrasound inspection, with further validation by X-ray computed tomography imaging.
 
The ultrasonic inspection data formulated the basis for defining the topology of the damage, which was then input into commercial finite element code via bespoke software routines. The developed algorithms for substituting NDT data by discrete approximation in FE model have small variation for the different geometric configurations, depending on the topology of the defect/damage present. The commercial FE software Abaqus/CAE and Abaqus/Explicit were utilised for the process, together with a Python script developed in-house. Finally, a graphical user interface for comprehensive input control by users was also developed and successfully trialled.
 
Rick Sluiters, Element’s VP of Europe Operations, says: “The SAMPE conference is always a stand-out event in the calendar for those in the advanced materials industry, and Element is delighted to have been invited to contribute so significantly and to remain a leader in shaping standards for the materials testing sector. Each year, the conference also provides an excellent opportunity to assess how end users are portraying their materials challenges, development process and certification requirements.”
 
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