"Finite element analysis saved us a considerable amount of money and time by helping to identify and correct these problems before we made a major investment in tooling," said Danilo Malacaria, Structural Engineering Manager for DEMA.
A part of the acoustic barrier is produced in a stamping operation in which a female die applies pressure to a flat aluminum blank, forcing the blank against a male die to form the finished part. Frequently the first stage of tool and blank shows problems such as cracking or excess trim on the formed sheet. Changes are then made to the tooling and the new tooling is tested again to see if the problem was fixed. It's not unusual for six iterations of modifications taking two weeks each to be required to meet the customer's quality standards.
Instead, DEMA simulated the stamping operation by using the implicit nonlinear capabilities available in MSC Nastran. The simulation results highlighted two potential problems: the material stress exceeded its failure limits and there was excess material around the perimeter of the finished part. DEMA engineers addressed these problems by changing the model and re-running the simulation until they found a final design that eliminated these problems.
"The result was that the die worked perfectly the first time we hit it," Malacaria concluded. "This application demonstrates how we can provide high quality and faster deliveries to our customers by utilizing the latest generation of computer simulation software. There is no way to know for sure exactly how much money and time was saved by not having to re-cut and re-test the die but it's clear that the savings were substantial."
DEMA -- Design Manufacturing SpA -- has been operating in the aerospace field since 1993 as an innovative company and has the capabilities to offer a complete, integrated product. DEMA group, with a staff of about 800 employees, is present in Somma Vesuviana (Naples), Pomigliano d'Arco (Naples), Paolisi (Benevento), Podenzano (Piacenza) and Brindisi with manufacturing facilities and engineering departments.
Dema produces a wide range of aerostructures including aircraft fuselage sections, floor panels, cockpits, tailcones, fan cowls, ramps, cargo doors, slide boxes, horizontal stabilizers, helicopters fuselages and helicopter tail booms. Dema's customers include Alenia Aermacchi, Bombardier, Airbus Military and Augusta Westland for aircraft programs including the Boeing 787, Airbus 380 and A321, ATR 42-72 and Augusta Westland AW139. For additional information about Dema, please visit: http://www.demaspa.it
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