A smart wing rib structure suitable for design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) process

Dogea, Ramona and Yan, Xiu T and Millar, Richard (2021) A smart wing rib structure suitable for design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) process. Journal of Material Sciences & Manufacturing Research, 2 (2). pp. 1-21. (https://doi.org/10.47363/JMSMR/2021(2)122)

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Additive manufacturing has been adopted widely across various industries for producing parts mainly due to their ability to create complex geometries, eliminate material wastage and enable faster production rate, among others. Additive manufacturing has also increased design solution space by enabling exploration of mechatronic solutions for mechanical structures. This includes the integration of smart devices into wing structures to achieve a data-driven predictive maintenance-based system. For this, there is still the need to continuously explore various ways of integrating sensory capability into a mechanical structure during the manufacturing processes to ensure improvement and reliability of aircraft components. The scope of this paper was to analyse different wing rib geometries and the influence of embedding sensory capability via design for additive manufacturing process. In this work, three wing rib geometries with cut-outs and for sensory placement were designed and analysed to estimate their equivalent stress and deformation when such sensory locations are introduced. The results confirm the idea that it is feasible to introduce holding cavities for structural performance monitoring sensors without compromising the structural design requirements. The results also show that deformation and stress are highly dependent on the rib thickness and the insertion of sensory locations.