Centre of excellence for structural full-scale testing 2015

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Proceedings titleCAMX, The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, 2015
ConferenceThe Composites and Advanced Materials Expo(CAMX), October 26-29, 2015, Dallas TX, USA
AbstractFor many years, some in the aerospace industry believed that analysis and modeling would eventually replace testing, including: coupons with joints and design details, sub-components and components, and Structural Full-Scale Tests (SFST). As the aeronautical industry entered the composite materials and hybrid structures era, best illustrated by the development of all composite fuselage aircraft, there was also an additional expectation that much qualification and certification could be achieved by modeling and simulation. Though analyses and analytical modeling can help define the requirements and procedures for testing these composite/hybrid structures; however, due to the complexity of understanding and predicting their performance during all service conditions, modeling and simulation are not mature enough to entirely replace testing itself. Certification agencies throughout the globe still view testing as the gold standard for proof of structural compliance as outlined in existing regulations [1] to [6]. As a result, the demand for testing has never been stronger. Static, Fatigue and Residual Strength tests are and will continue to be performed to support certification of aircraft by Airworthiness Authorities. Furthermore, in several cases, in addition to certification testing, proof of concept and life extension tests are also being carried out by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). OEMs have found that they cannot avoid structural full-scale testing, even for legacy aircraft. Certification is viewed as a strategic capability by the major OEMs. Most of these, such as Embraer, Boeing, Lockheed and Gulfstream, continue to perform their structural tests in-house. Airbus on the other hand, has outsourced most, if not all, its structural full-scale testing to specialized firms in Europe, such as IABG, IMA and DGA. More recently Bombardier has initiated a similar approach to that of Airbus. Other than OEMs, there are few facilities in North America that can provide the entire range of testing services including flight testing, spectrum derivation, instrumentation and certification testing, complete with state-of-the-art nondestructive evaluation (NDE). NRC, in collaboration with its partners, is planning to expand its SFST capabilities in the near future with its Centre of Excellence (CoE) to accommodate the increase in demand for Life Extension structural testing, typically for military applications [7], Proof of Concept demonstration testing and Certification testing with OEMs. At the same time NRC (National Research Council) is committed to improving testing technologies. Efforts are being undertaken to offer clients the opportunity to perform a wider range of tests, better, faster and at lower cost.
Publication date
PublisherThe Composites and Advanced Materials Expo
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; Aerospace
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number23000266
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Record identifier80ad0a41-21c1-428a-8b95-7a3fa407d52a
Record created2016-06-30
Record modified2016-06-30
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