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ICAMB 2012, Jan 9-11, 2012

Finite Element Modeling And Analysis Of Fuselage Stiffened Panel Subjected To Cabin Pressurization

Achyutha Krishna Rao K, Akash Mohanty and Shiva Rama Krishna A

AbstractThis paper presents the response of aircraft fuselage panel to the cabin pressure by idealizing the structure as a flat stiffened panel. The principal stresses developed in the fuselage due to the pressure difference at the altitude during the actual flight conditions were simulated by using the commercial FEA software MSC.PATRAN & MSC.NASTRAN. The response of structure for the hoop stress and longitudinal stress developed in the fuselage due to cabin pressurization is studied by using finite element analysis technique. Emphasis was given to study the response of I, C and L types of the stringers for the load bearing capacity of the aircraft structure and comparison for the structural responses of stiffened panel was made between these types of stringers. From the analysis it was found that; I and C type of stringers have least deflection than L type; which is an important parameter for the safe design of the aircraft structure.

KeywordsStiffened

panel,

longitudinal stresses.

cabin

I.

INTRODUCTION

pressure,

hoop

and

A stiffened panel is a generic representative structural element of an airframe. Fuselage is typically a curved stiffened panel

construction in which different types of stresses are developed due to the cabin pressurization [1]. The internal forces acting on a section of fuselage due to cabin pressurization are necessary to be calculated to predict the structural stability during actual operating conditions. The internal forces due to longitudinal and hoop stress developed in the fuselage act on fuselage section in biaxial directions and subject the stiffened panel to tensile forces in perpendicular directions. The force due to hoop stress acts in a direction parallel to bulkhead and force due to longitudinal stress acts in the direction parallel to stringer. Finite element analysis is widely used [2] to understand the response of the structure to such types of loads and it is quite interesting to study different alternative geometrical shape of stringers cross-sections that can be used in advanced aircraft designing of structural panels. It is important to represent the necessary structural features in the finite element model to get the correct response of the structure for a given loading condition. Conventional methods of representing the structure in FE Model lead to inappropriate stress distribution and incorrect identification of critical locations [2]. Appropriate FE modeling techniques was used to represent the details of the stiffened panel [3].

Achyutha Krishna Rao K was the passed out B. Tech. student (2011) of SMBS, VIT University, Vellore- 632014, India. (e-mail:

achyuthakrishnaraok2007@vit.ac.in).

Akash Mohanty is working as the Assistant Professor (Selection Grade), Design Division, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, VIT University, Vellore, India. (Mobile No: +91-8903309241; fax: 0416 2243092; (e-mail: mohanty@vit.ac.in). Shiva Rama Krishna A was the passed out B. Tech. student (2011) of SMBS, VIT University, Vellore- 632014, India. (e-mail:

SMBS, VIT University, Vellore, India

In this paper the response of geometrical shape of the stringer cross-section over the bulk material properties of the fuselage stiffened panel was studied. Three types of geometrical shape such as I, C and L type of stringers were chosen for the load bearing capacity of the aircraft structure and the comparison was made to study the structural responses of stiffened panel for these types of stringers. The structural deflection for cabin pressurization and stresses developed in the fuselage due to cabin pressurization for each type of stringers was simulated. MSC.PATRAN was used as a pre & post processor and MSC.NASTRAN was used as a solver for this analysis.

II. IDEALISATION OF STIFFENED PANEL

The curved panel of the fuselage (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2) is idealized as flat panel. Ralph et al. simulated the modal response of fuselage panel by idealizing it as flat stiffened panel and correlated the results with experiments [4]. A similar approach was followed for fuselage panels subjected to cabin pressurization. The hoop stress and longitudinal stress [5] developed in the fuselage produce the tensile loads on the stiffened panel in circumferential and longitudinal direction respectively. Thus the equivalent tensile force due to hoop stress and longitudinal stress acting on the stiffened panel are calculated by multiplying the cross-section area of the stiffened panel in the circumferential and longitudinal directions respectively. The equivalent tensile forces obtained are applied to the stiffened panel to simulate the response due to cabin pressurization.

A. Geometry of stiffened panels

1)

2)

3)

4)

Skin

Stringer

Mouse hole

Fig. 1 Components of stiffened panel

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ICAMB 2012, Jan 9-11, 2012

Fig. 2 Dimensions of stiffened panel

B. Mouse holes

The mouse holes were the openings in bulkhead to facilitate passing of stringers. The Fig. 3 shows a detailed view of the mouse hole for L and C stringer.

Fig. 3: (a) L Stringer, (b) C Stringer

III. ASSUMPTIONS MADE FOR FEA

As the fuselage panel was idealized to a flat stiffened panel, certain assumptions [6] were made to simulate the actual behavior of fuselage stiffened panel. Considering a sample portion of pressurized fuselage, it was analyzed that the small portion was subjected to tensile forces in both the directions by surrounding fuselage panels. Thus the following assumptions were made for analysis. (a) The bulkhead and stringers were subjected to uni-axial membrane stress (b) Skin was assumed to be in the state of plane stress condition.

IV. FINITE ELEMENT MODELING

An appropriate finite element analysis was used to represent necessary structural details to obtain correct structural behavior of stiffened panel. Lynch et al. [3] shows the finite element modeling procedure for the post buckling analysis of conventional riveted fuselage panels. The results from different modeling approaches were compared with test results. In this analysis [3], 1-D bar elements were used to represent rivet joint, which has strong correlation with the test results has been selected for modeling.

SMBS, VIT University, Vellore, India

One dimensional Bar2 [7]—[10] elements are used to represent the rivet joints which act as connectors between the skin and the stringers and between skin and bulk-head. Two dimensional QUAD4 [8] elements were used for the analysis of the skin, stringer and bulkhead.

V. LOADS ACTING ON STIFFENED PANEL DUE TO CABIN PRESSURIZATION

Two types of stresses are developed in the fuselage due to cabin pressurization [1, 5].

A. Circumferential Stress (Hoop Stress)

Hoop stress “(1)” was developed in circumferential direction which is equivalent to tensile stress due to equivalent tensile force in that direction.

Hoop stress=

P× r ………

t

(1)

 P = Cabin differential pressure = 6 psi = 0.00422 kg/mm 2 r = Radius of the fuselage = 59 inches = 1498.6 mm t = Thickness of the Stiffened plate = 1.75 mm

Hoop stress= 3.6137 kg/mm 2

Force on stiffened panel due to hoop stress = (Hoop stress x Area of cross section)

= (3.6137 ×1500×1.75) = 9486.138 kg

As the skin was represented by 2-D finite element, the force per unit length of stiffened panel replicates the force on stiffened panel due to hoop stress.

Load per unit length =

9486.138 = 6.324 kg/mm

1500

B. Longitudinal Stress

Longitudinal stresses “(2)” were developed in fuselage axial direction which is equivalent to stress due to equivalent tensile force in the axial direction.

Longitudinal stress

=

P

×

r

2 t

…………

(2) Longitudinal stress = 1.80685 kg /mm 2

Force on stiffened panel due to longitudinal stress

= Longitudinal stress x Area of cross section

= 1.80685× 900 ×1.75 = 2845.788 kg

As the skin was idealized as 2-D finite element, the force per unit length of stiffened panel replicates the force on stiffened panel due to hoop stress.

Load per unit length = 2845.788/900 = 3.16198 kg/mm.

VI. BOUNDARY CONDITIONS

Response of stiffened panel due to bi-axial loading was simulated using PATRAN/NASTRAN. All the skin nodes were constrained in Y direction to simulate plane stress. The

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ICAMB 2012, Jan 9-11, 2012

node at geometric centre of the skin was constrained in all the 6 degrees of freedom to accommodate application of bi- axial load on the stiffened panel. This analysis was done for constraining one side of the stiffened panel and applying load on the opposite side to facilitates the loading in a single direction i.e. either hoop stress or longitudinal stress can be simulated, which would lead to inappropriate response of the stiffened panel. A uniformly distributed load was applied to the edges of stiffened panel. The force was applied uniformly on the edges of skin, bulkhead and stringer.

VII. MATERIAL PROPERTIES

The Aluminum alloy (Al 2024) which is the commonly used materials for the aircraft structural parts [11] was considered for fuselage analysis. The Table 1 shows the material properties which was used for the FEA analysis.

TABLE 1: Material properties of Al 2024

 Modulus of Elasticity (E) 72GPa Poisson’s ratio (µ) 0.33

VIII.

METHODOLOGY

The value of hoop stress and longitudinal stress and equivalent tensile load on the stiffened panel due to hoop stress and longitudinal stress was calculated. Necessary structural details necessary for the finite element modeling was obtained from the solid model of stiffened panel. Care was taken in meshing the stiffened panel, stringer and bulkhead to obtain nodes at the riveted hole centre thereby facilitating the representation of rivet as one-dimensional finite element connecting the center point of hole. The gap between skin-bulkhead and skin- stringer was not filled by gap elements [3] because the results show no effect due to gap elements. As the skin and stringers are represented by 2-dimensional finite elements, the equivalent tensile load in kg/mm was calculated. Appropriate finite element modeling techniques for representing necessary structural details of the stiffened panel was identified [3]. The loads and boundary conditions were applied to the finite element model. Structural response of stiffened panel for various stringers was simulated using PATRAN/NASTRAN. A comparison was made between different types of stringers and graph plotted to show variation of maximum deformation for different types of stringers.

IX.

RESULTS

Fig. 4 shows the finite element analysis to obtain the deformation values of C-Stringer Stiffened panel due to the cabin pressurization. From this analysis, the maximum displacement was found to be 0.254 mm at the edges as in a fuselage panel in bi-directional tension mode due to the forces acted upon by the surrounding fuselage panels and minimum displacement was found to be 1.45 x 10 -3 mm at the geometric center of stiffened panel.

SMBS, VIT University, Vellore, India

Fig. 4 Deformation of C-Stringer Stiffened panel

von-Mises stress is the equivalent stress which was independent of direction and the value can be compared with tensile strength from the tensile test. For the given set of loading condition the von-Mises stress was found and the maximum value 15.1 kg/mm 2 was observed at mouse hole and the minimum value of 2.81x10 -2 kg/mm 2 was observed in stringers which do not have any discontinuities as shown in fig. 5.

Fig. 5 von Mises stress of C-Stringer Stiffened panel

Fig. 6 shows the finite element analysis to obtain the deformation values of L-Stringer Stiffened panel due to the cabin pressurization. From this analysis, the maximum displacement was found to be 0.282 mm at the edges as in a fuselage panel which is in bi-directional tension due to forces acted upon by the surrounding fuselage panels and minimum displacement was found to be -0.282 mm at the geometric center of stiffened panel.

Fig. 6 Deformation of L-Stringer Stiffened Panel

For the given set of loading condition; the von Mises stress was found and the maximum value 15.1 kg/mm 2 was observed at mouse hole and the minimum value of 2.70x10 -2 kg/mm 2 was observed uniformly in stringers (Fig. 7).

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ICAMB 2012, Jan 9-11, 2012

Fig. 7 von Mises stress of L-Stringer Stiffened Panel

Fig. 8 shows the finite element analysis to obtain the deformation values of I-Stringer Stiffened panel due to the cabin pressurization. From this analysis, the maximum displacement was found to be 0.254 mm at the edges as in a fuselage panel of bi directional tension mode. This was due to forces acted upon by the surrounding fuselage panels and minimum displacement was found to be 0 mm at the geometric center of stiffened panel.

Fig. 8 Deformation of I-Stringer Stiffened Panel

For the given set of loading condition the von Mises stress was found and the maximum value 15.1 kg/mm 2 was observed at mouse hole and the minimum value of 2.81x10 -2 kg/mm 2 was observed in stringers which do not have any discontinuities as shown in fig. 9.

Fig. 9 von-Mises stress of I-Stringer Stiffened Panel

From the analysis it was observed that the maximum value of von Mises stress was found to be same for all the three cases. It was attributed to the presence of mouse hole in the bulkhead which takes the hoop stress and the stringers have no part in taking the hoop stress. Effect of stringers on the maximum displacement was evident as the stringers contribute in taking the forces due to longitudinal stress developed in the fuselage. Fig. 10 shows the maximum displacement of the stiffened panel for I, C and L stringer. The equal value of maximum displacement for I and C stiffeners was attributed to the equal area of cross section. The steep increase in the value of maximum displacement was due to cross-section area which is less as compared to I and C stringers.

SMBS, VIT University, Vellore, India

X.

CONCLUSIONS

The work presented herein contributes to the design and analysis of aircraft fuselage panels subjected to cabin pressurization. This work focused on idealized fuselage stiffened panels subjected to equivalent biaxial tension force on stiffened panel due to hoop stress and longitudinal stress. Maximum deformations for stiffened panels with I, C, L stringers was determined. Significant difference in the maximum deformation was noted between different stringers. The maximum stress value was same for all the stiffened panels as the stringers do not contribute in taking the hoop stress. It was observed that the stiffened panel with I and C stringers have least maximum displacement than L types of stringers. Further work can be undertaken to perform fatigue analysis on stiffened panel to study the effect of cabin pressurization at different altitudes.

Fig. 10 Maximum deformation for stiffened panels with I, L and C stringer

REFERENCES

[1] Niu, Michael. C. Y. 1999. Airframe Stress Analysis and Sizing, 2 nd Edition. Hong Kong Conmilit Press Ltd, Hong Kong, chap 3 [2] Rao, Singiresu. S. 2004. The Finite Element Method in Engineering, 4 th Edition. Elsevier Science & Technology Books. [3] Lynch, C.; Murphy, A., Price. M., Gibson, A. 2004. The computational post buckling analysis of fuselage stiffened panels loaded in compression. Journal of Thin-Walled Structures, Vol. 42, pp. 1445–1464. [4] Ralph D. Buehrle, Gary A. Fleming, Richard S. Pappa, Ferdinand W. Grosveld. 2002. Finite Element model development and validation for aircraft fuselage structures. 18th International Modal Analysis Conference. [5] Mott, R. L. 2002. Applied Strength of Materials, 2 nd Edition. Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi. [6] Boeing Design Manual: Finite Element Modeling Guide for Aircraft Structural Analysis. 1989. [7] Patran Reference Manual Part 3: Finite Element Modelling, 2010. MSC.Software, v2010. [8] MSC.Patran, MSC.Nastran Preference Guide Volume 1:

Structural Analysis. 2010. MSC.Software, v2010.

[9]

MSC.NASTRAN and LS/DYNA. [10] Linear Static Analysis User’s Guide. 2003. MSC.Nastran. [11] Megson, T. H. G. 2003. Aircraft Structures for engineering

Sreejit Raghu. 2010. Finite Element Modelling Techniques in

students, 3 rd Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann.

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