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Design and fabrication of stereolithographybased aeroelastic wing models

Weijun Zhu and Dichen Li


State Key Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, Peoples Republic of China

Zhengyu Zhang
State Key Laboratory of Aerodynamics, China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center, Mianyang, Peoples Republic of China

Ke Ren
AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute, Chengdu, Peoples Republic of China

Xinglei Zhao
State Key Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, Peoples Republic of China

Dangguo Yang
State Key Laboratory of Aerodynamics, China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center, Mianyang, Peoples Republic of China

Wei Zhang
State Key Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, Peoples Republic of China

Yan Sun
State Key Laboratory of Aerodynamics, China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center, Mianyang, Peoples Republic of China, and

Yiping Tang
State Key Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, Peoples Republic of China
Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a novel method to design and fabricate aeroelastic wing models for wind tunnel tests based on stereolithography (SL). This method can ensure the structural similarity of both external and internal structures between models and prototypes. Design/methodology/approach An aluminum wing-box was selected as the prototype, and its natural modes were studied by FEA and scaled down to obtain the desired dynamic behavior data. According to similarity laws, the structurally similar model was designed through a sequential design procedure of dimensional scaling, stiffness optimization and mass optimization. An SL model was then fabricated, and its actual natural modes was tested and compared with the desired data of the prototype. Findings The rst two natural frequencies of the model presented strong correlation with the desired data of the prototype. Both the external and internal structures of the model matched the prototype closely. The SL-based method can signicantly reduce the total mass and simplify the locating operations of balance-weights. The cost and time for the fabrication were reduced signicantly. Research limitations/implications Further investigation into the material properties of SL resins including stiffness and damping behaviors due to layered process is recommended toward higher prediction accuracy. Wind tunnel tests are needed to study the in situ performance and durability of SL models. Originality/value Although the paper takes a wing-box as the study object, structurally similar SL models of entire wings can be obtained conveniently, beneting from the low-stiffness material properties of SL resins and the fabrication capacity to build complex structures of SL process. This paper enhances the versatility of using SL and other rapid prototyping processes to fabricate models to predict aeroelastic characteristics of aircraft. Keywords Aerospace engineering, Wind resistance, Aerodynamics, Rapid prototypes, Elastic analysis Paper type Case study
The authors express their deepest gratitude to the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (PCSIRT, IRT0646) and the Fund of Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute for their assistance. Grateful acknowledgements are made to Prof. Dong Longlei and Ms Li Ling from School of Aerospace and Mr Zhang Yizhuo from School of Mechanical Engineering, Xian Jiaotong University, China for their assistance in Modal Test. The authors would like to sincerely thank Dr Wu Haihua, Mr Zhou Weizhao and Mr Chen Zhangwei from School of Mechanical Engineering, Xian Jiaotong University, China for their helpful advice in the writing of this paper.

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1355-2546.htm

Rapid Prototyping Journal 17/4 (2011) 298 307 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited [ISSN 1355-2546] [DOI 10.1108/13552541111138423]

298

Design and fabrication of aeroelastic wing models Weijun Zhu et al.

Rapid Prototyping Journal Volume 17 Number 4 2011 298 307

1. Introduction
Aeroelastic models are often used in wind tunnel tests to investigate utter and other aeroelastic characteristics or to verify the aeroelastic numerical simulation of aircraft or their components (French and Eastep, 1996). To map the data of the tests to the actual ights, they should be designed and fabricated according to pertinent similarity laws which determinate most testing factors in wind tunnel tests (Raja et al., 2009), such as the density and velocity of the medium in tunnels, the external contour, stiffness and mass distribution of the models, etc. The most important similarity laws include: . Geometry similarity. Similarity of the external contour. . Stiffness similarity. Similarity of the stiffness distribution. . Mass similarity. Similarity of the mass distribution. It should be noted that some types of aeroelastic models need not meet all of the requirements, e.g. mass similarity is not a necessity for statically aeroelastically scaled models (Jennifer et al., 2004). Furthermore, an ideal aeroelastic model that could be used to study the comprehensive aeroelastic behaviors should match the prototype in their load-paths (Jennifer, 2005), which leads the requirements for the similarity of their internal structures (main load-transmitting components). Structural similarity is an integral concept that indicates the similarity of both external structures (so-called geometry similarity) and internal structures (so-called load-transmitting similarity) between models and prototypes. As traditional aeroelastic models are usually made of metals, they are too stiff while making the internal geometries similar to prototypes (Zeng et al., 2006). Therefore, internal structures have to be simplied to reduced stiffness (Jonathan et al., 2008). Generally, structural similarity is sacriced to ensure stiffness similarity and mass similarity. Moreover, it is expensive and time-consuming to design and fabricate models with traditional manufacturing techniques (Geipe, 2008; Butler, 2005). Some researchers (Zeng et al., 2006; Li et al., 2009) attempted to obtain partially structural similarity models with low-stiffness materials, such as resin-based composites. Though these studies proved that theses non-metal materials can be used to replace metal to fabricate aeroelastic models in some cases, the complexity of the fabricating processes will limit the application of these methods. Thus, a more convenient fabrication technique and some low-stiffness materials are needed to obtain structural similarity between models and prototypes. It is clear that the increasing use of rapid prototyping (RP) technology in wind tunnel tests could dramatically reduce the time and cost associated with wind-tunnel model fabrication (Zhou et al., 2008). The performances of different RP processes (fused deposition modeling (FDM) using plastics, laminated objective manufacturing using plastics, SL; selective laser sintering (SLS) using plastics, etc.) in the direct fabrication of models have been compared comprehensively (Landrum et al., 1997; Springer, 1998). It can be concluded that SL, FDM or SLS could be the competent solution for preliminary aerodynamic development studies (Springer, 1998) and SL seemed to be the best RP process from the viewpoint of material properties, dimensional accuracy, etc. Some new applications were implemented with SL as well (Chuk et al., 1998; Hildebrand et al., 2003; Heyes and Smith, 2004; 299

Tyler et al., 2005; Zhou et al., 2008). However, other RP processes are also hopeful to extend their uses in the fabrication of models as both the material properties and the process procedures are being improved in recent years (Wohlers, 2006). Some researchers (Jonathan et al., 2008; Michimasa et al., 2003) use SL parts as the aerodynamic shells of aeroelastic models with metal spars inside to provide stiffness. However, few attempts have been made to replace metal components with SL parts. In the R&D of some products besides aircraft, dynamically scaled plastic models directly fabricated with RP have been used to predict the dynamic behavior of metal structures (Dornfeld, 1995; Ziemian et al., 2010). But the possible deviation of the material properties of SL models due to layered accumulation and variations of process parameters may limit its use. Tests were conducted carefully and the results shown that SL material is approximately isotropic and its properties could be considered independent of build orientations and post-curing treatments in the prediction of natural frequencies of metal parts (Mahn and Bayly, 1999). As one of the main processes of RP, SL allows the accurate fabrication of complex plastic 3D structures with short period and low cost (Wohlers, 2006). Relatively lower modulus of SL resins makes it possible to take account of structural similarity, stiffness similarity and mass similarity at the same time. Enabling SL parts provide not only aerodynamic contour but also stiffness, this paper presents a SL-based method to design and fabricate aeroelastic models. Beneting from the low-elastic modulus of SL resins and the fabrication capacity to build complex structures of SL process, structural similarity between models and prototypes could be ensured, and the fabrication time and cost will be reduced considerably. Figure 1 shows the procedure of this method, including design, fabrication and test of the model. Choosing a wingbox as the study object, design and fabrication processes of this method were described in detail and an SL model was built. In an effort to assess the feasibility of this method, the dynamic behaviors of the fabricated model were tested, and then the rst two natural frequencies of the model were compared with the desired data of the prototype obtained by FEA. Structural similarity between the model and the prototype was compared and the efciency of the method was discussed.

2. Full-scale prototype
2.1 Components of the prototype Wing-boxes, as the main load-carrying components, determine the dynamic behaviors of wings. Unlike actual wings with curved aerofoil, wing-boxes composed of at surfaces are more convenient to fabricate and test. Thus, the paper selected a wing-box as the study object. As shown in Figure 2, the wing-box is an integral aluminum structure, consisting of skins, ribs, webs and strings. Table I Figure 1 Procedure of design and fabrication
Prototype Design Fabrication Model

FEA

Desired data

Actual data

Test

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Figure 2 Planform and prole dimensions of the wing-box

Rib Skin String 1.75 m

the key of the design is to determine the principle factors (Jonathan et al., 2008). In consideration of the dimensions of the prototype, the size of the wind tunnel (0.6 0.6 m of transonic wind tunnel in China Aerodynamics Research & Development Center, China) and the envelop of the SL apparatus (400 400 600 mm of SPS600B in Xian Jiaotong University, China), the paper determined 5 as the length scale factor. Common recommendation for factors of medium density and Mach number is 1 in the wind tunnel. The scale of 4 was selected for the medium velocity to study the aeroelastic characteristics in high speed from low speed tests. Step 1: dimensional scale-down In the rst step, all dimensions of the prototype (both internal and external) were reduced proportionally according to the length scale factor. To ensure geometry similarity, the external dimensions were kept constant in the remaining steps. Step 2: optimization design of stiffness In the paper, Matrices of Elastic Inuence Coefcients, Chedrik et al., 2004) was adapted to match the stiffness of the model with the prototype. The principle of the approach is demonstrated in Figure 3. Similar stiffness is dened as similar displacements under similar loads in particular directions which were determined by the desired modes from the modal analysis performed in Section 2. The design procedure was formulated as an optimization problem: ( minimize f d xs 1 subject to xs # xs # x Objective function. It was the error of displacements of the model between the analyzed and the desired, which can be expressed as: f d xs
p r X X dij xs 2 dij 2 ~ ~ij d i1 j1

18 Web 0.42 m

Table I Material properties of the prototype and the model


Properties Density (kg/m3) Elastic modulus (GPa) Poisson ratio Aluminum alloy 2,780 74 0.30 SL resin 1,120 2.46 0.38 Scaling factora

kr 2:48 kE 30:08

Note: aAll values of factors are propotye-to-model

compares the material properties of aluminum alloy and SL resin that were used to build the prototype and the model, respectively. 2.2 FEA modeling and modal analysis of the prototype The authors used a numerical optimization approach to design the model, FEA modeling is, therefore, essential to the design procedure. The selection of FEA elements to simulate different components of the wing-box is based on the force-transfer analysis of wing-boxes and the comparative study of ANSYSw elements. Furthermore, for the automatic implement of the optimization design, selected elements should support parametric modeling. In this paper, strings are represented with BEAM188, while other components (skins, webs and ribs) are simulated by SHELL181. Modal analysis was then performed, and the desired natural frequencies (Table III) and the desired natural modes (Figure 3) of the prototype were obtained after being scaled down by the frequency scaling factor and the length scaling factor (Table II).

where r is the number of load steps (two steps of axial and normal force, as shown in Figure 3), p represents the number of the reference nodes (24 in the paper, indicated by the ~ asterisks in Figure 3), while d and d are the analyzed and desired displacements of the model at reference nodes and the latter can be written as: ~ dp d kl 3

3. Small-scaled model
3.1 Design To obtain the small-scaled SL model, a three-step design procedure was conducted, including dimensional scale-down, optimization design of stiffness and optimization design of mass. The procedure is governed by the similarity relationship (presented as the scaling factors) between models and prototypes, derived from aeroelastics theory and similarity theory (Jennifer et al., 2005). As summarized in Table II, these scaling factors can be divided into two groups: the principal factors and the derived factors, the latter are the functions of the former. Therefore, 300

In which dp is the displacements of the prototype at reference nodes and kl equals to 5 as the length scaling factor listed in Table II. Design variables. As shown in Figure 4, the design variables xs were the internal dimensions of the model: the thicknesses of ribs (root, middle and tip, three in all), skins (top and bottom skins at tip, two in all) and webs (at leading edge and trailing edge at tip, two in all), and the heights and widths of strings (top and bottom strings at root, middle and tip, 12 in all). State variables. The purpose of dening the state variables was to ensure the design variables xs within the limits of the external contour of the model (xs , scaled down from the

Design and fabrication of aeroelastic wing models Weijun Zhu et al.

Rapid Prototyping Journal Volume 17 Number 4 2011 298 307

Figure 3 The principle of stiffness optimization

FZ11 FZ01 FZ02 1st Bending Axial force Reference Node FY1 FZ12

FY0 2nd Bending Normal force

Table II Scaling factors


Name Symbol Scale factors Valuea 5 4 1 1 30 10,000 125 400 5 0.8

Principle factors Length Medium velocity Medium density Mach number Elastic modulus of structure Stiffness Mass Derived factors Load Displacement Frequency

kl kv kr kMa kE kK kM kF kW kf

kl kv kr kMa kE kr k2 k4 y l kr k3 l kr k2 k2 y l kl ky = kl

prototype shown in Figure 2) and the fabrication capacity of SL (xs , 0.5 mm in the paper). The optimization approaches of ANSYSw were adopted to implement the design of stiffness. The stiffness similarity was obtained with an average error of ,5 per cent through sequential calculations of Single Run, DV Sweep and FirstOrder. A total of 82 iterations were carried out with HPw XW8600 Workstation. Step 3: Optimization design of mass Mass similarity represents a comprehensive characteristic covering the total mass, the location of centroid and moments of inertia. After obtaining stiffness similarity, design of mass is the last step to get the nal form of the aeroelastic model. The design procedure was conducted through the adjustment of balance-weights, including the determination of the total mass of all balance-weights and the layout of them on the model.

Note: aAll values of factors are propotye-to-model

Figure 4 Distribution of the design variables


A B String-top Skin-top Web-L.E. Web-T.E. B Planform of wing-box A Rib-root Rib-middle Rib-tip String-bottom Section A-A Skin-bottom

Section B-B

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The total mass was calculated by the following: M Total M Scaled prototype 2 M Elastic model 4

In which vp is the natural frequencies of the prototype and kv equals to 0.8 as the frequency scaling factor listed in Table II. Design variables. As mentioned above, the design variables xm (12 in total) were the proportions of the balance-weights in the total mass. State variables. The purpose of dening the state variables was to ensure the design variables xm within the limits of the total mass (xm , determined by formula (4)) and the reasonable size of the balance-weights (xm , 0.5 g in the paper). With MASS21 elements simulating the balance-weights, the optimization design of stiffness was implemented with ANSYSw following the same procedure as the optimization of mass. Finally, the aeroelastic model was obtained after 70 iterations of optimization. The resulting errors are listed in Table III. 3.2 Fabrication After the design procedure, the wing-box was fabricated with SL through selection of process parameters, building and post-treatment, as shown in Figure 4. The research adopted SL apparatus SPS 600B developed by The Institution of Advanced Manufacturing Technology (IAMT) at Xian Jiaotong University, China. Internal supports are assistant structures to prevent the upper components of the models from collapsing due to gravitation (G as shown in Figure 6), but they would be very difcult to clean later to ensure the similarity of the internal structures of the cavity-like model. As shown in Figure 6, with the increase of the angle, less internal supports are needed as more force to support the upper components is provided by the cured structures (indicated as Fc) instead of internal supports or buoyancy (indicated as Fs). Though larger angle

and then divided into several balance-weights. Considering the mass distribution of the model (declining from root to tip), the bearing capacities of different components (strings at root are the strongest, while skins at tip are the weakest), the locations of nodal lines of the interested modes (to avoid the locations where max/min displacements occurred as shown in Figure 3) and the convenience to operate, the paper chose the locations to x balance-weights as shown in Figure 5 (12 in total). The design procedure was formulated as an optimization problem: ( minimize f v xm 5 subject to xm # xm # xm Objective function. It was the error of natural frequencies of the model between the analyzed and the desired, which can be expressed as: q X vj xm 2 vj 2 ~ 6 f v xm vj ~ j1 where q is the order of natural modal (two orders in the paper, as shown in Figure 3), while vj and vj are the analyzed and ~ desired natural frequencies (listed in Table IV) of the model and the latter can be written as:

vj ~

vp kv

Figure 5 Fabricating procedure of the model based on SL


CAD model SL model

Selection of process parameters

Part building

302

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Table III Results of the mass optimization


Parameters Total mass Location of centroid Error (%) M x y z Ix Iy Iz 21.0 26.6 23.1 13.6 4.4 22.3 22.3

In the research, a laser-vibration-measuring apparatus PSV400 from Polytec Corp., was employed to test the dynamic behaviors of the model. As PSV-400 can only measure the vibration in single directions, the out-of-plane vibration of two surfaces (Figure 7) of the model was measured to abstract the rst two modes mentioned above. Each measuring point was scanned, respectively, under the excitation of an impact-hammer.

Moment of inertia

5. Results and discussion


5.1 The correlation of the natural frequencies Figure 8 demonstrates the FFT results in the frequency domain converted from the time histories of the measured vibration. As shown in Table IV and Figure 8, the actual results matched the desired data fairly. Thus, it can be concluded that the SL model can represent the aluminum prototype in the prediction of dynamic behaviors. That is to say, the new method presented in this paper is a feasible solution to the design and fabrication of aeroelastic models for wind tunnel tests (Korsch et al., 2009; Kampchen et al., 2003; Jonathan et al., 2008). 5.2 The conformity of structural similarity As shown in Figure 9, structural similarity between the aluminum prototype and the SL model was obtained due to the consistency of both external and internal structures of the wing-box. On the contrary, as several simplications have to be made (Jonathan et al., 2008), current metal-based models were usually some simplied versions of prototypes. Therefore, compared with traditional methods, the SL-based method could be expected to design and fabricate aeroelastic models with higher similarity accuracy in the sense of load-path matching.

seems favorable to avoid internal supports, the resulted considerable increase of the building time has to be taken into account. Therefore, 308 was selected as the angle of the building orientation (the minimum value calculated in Magicsw) to avoid any internal supports while minimizing the building time. Other parameters of the apparatus remained default to ensure constant mechanical properties. The model was then built automatically in SPS600B with SOMOSw 14120 from DSM Corp. After washing off the excess resin, the SL model was treated by post-curing for 50 minutes and sandpapering manually to obtain the desired material properties and dimensional accuracy.

4. Ground verication test-modal test


To simulate xation condition of the wing-box in FEA modeling, a steel xture (Figure 7) was designed and xed onto the base. As shown in Figure 7, 12 hexahedral balanceweights made of lead were properly distributed and bonded onto locating recesses of the model with glue.

Figure 6 Relationship between building orientations and internal supports


Upper components

15

Internal support G External support

Fs

Fc

Fc Fs

30

90

303

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Figure 7 The model xed onto the steel xture for modal test
Fixture

Balance weight

Model

Top skin

L.E. web

Locating recess

Figure 8 Results of modal test


Top skin 600 Magnitude (um/s) 1st Order 400 Actual mode Desired mode

Table IV Comparison between the actual and desired natural frequencies


Order 1 2 Desired (Hz) 69.66 178.68 Actual (Hz) 70.63 176.90 Error (%) 21.37 1.00

200

Figure 9 Internal structures of the prototype and the model


Prototype Model

0 0 100 200 300 Frequency (Hz) (a) Top skin 400 500

L.E. Web 60 Magnitude (um/s) 2nd Order 40 Actual mode 20 Desired mode

100

200 300 Frequency (Hz) (b) Top skin

400

500

Without loss of generality, this paper chose a hollow beam as the example to explain how SL helps ensure structural similarity and improve the design and fabrication of aeroelastic models. The geometry of the aluminum beam is shown in Figure 10 and Table V. 304

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An aluminum model and a SL model were designed, respectively, through the same procedure as Section 3 and with the equal scaling factors listed in Table II. Taking the thicknesses of the both directions and the width as the optimization variables, the stiffness in the two directions of the beam was optimized according to similarity laws, while keeping the length and height constant to ensure geometry similarity. The design results are shown in Figure 10 and listed in Table V. (a) Structural similarity As the thicknesses of the aluminum model were too thin (0.05 mm) to fabricate, other structures (e.g. I-shape beam) have to be adopted to simulate the stiffness of the prototype. On the contrary, the model made of SL resin with the similar structures as the prototype had appropriate dimensions to fabricate. Thus, the low-modulus of SL materials and the fabricating capacity of SL process to build complex internal structures facilitate design and fabrication of structurally similar models. (b) Balance-weights From Table III, the total mass of required balance-weights exceeded the structure mass of the aluminum model by the factor of more than 11, which is remarkably difcult to arrange and locate them. On the contrary, the balanceweights of the SL model were almost negligible relative to the structural mass. The total mass of the balance-weights can even be reduced to zero from the collocation of the scaling factors in some cases. The design and fabrication of locating recesses for the arrangement and xation of the balance-weights can be rather Figure 10 Sections of the prototype and models
Prototype ty Model-SL

troublesome in traditional methods (Jonathan et al., 2008). However, SL could facilitate fabrication of locating chamfers directly from CAD data, which is expected to simplify the operation remarkably. Therefore, this SL-based method could help to improve prediction accuracy of models in two aspects: ensuring structural similarity between prototypes and models, while reducing the total mass of the balance-weights and simplifying locating operation of them signicantly. 5.3 Cost/time analysis The dimensions of the model are shown in Figure 11. It was difcult to fabricate due to the internal parts of the cavity-like structure and the thin-wall components at the tip with extreme sizes around 1.0 mm for machining (the minimum is 0.5 mm at the width of bottom strings). The cost/time comparisons of the fabrication of the model are listed in Table VI, and they are explained as following: Stereolithography (SL) As mentioned above, the SL apparatus adopted in the paper was SPS 600B developed by IAMTat Xian Jiaotong University and the material was SOMOSw 14120 from DSM Corp. The fabrication procedure involved data processing, model building and post-treatment. The total cost for the SL model was about $700, including $200 for the xed cost and $500 for the variable cost (material, labor, power, etc.). The main source was the material cost (about $400) determined directly by the weight of the model (about 200 g in the paper). It took about 35 hours to fabricate the model totally, among which around 30 hours was spent to build the model and this time was proportional to the layer number (about 3,000 in the paper). NC machining For comparison, the economics of NC machining for the model was investigated, which is a typical fabrication process for the wind tunnel model. 41Cr4 alloy structural steel was selected as the material (ASTM: 5140, DIN: 41Cr4, GB: 40Cr), and the same dimensional tolerance ^0.1 mm as SL was appointed. What is noteworthy is that the model has to be divided into two parts to machine for the fabrication of the internal structures, so the dynamical similarity could not be ensured for this fabrication method. Two manufacturers deployed with NC machining centers were asked for the quotes listed in Table VI. The prices and time were approximately twice more than those for an ordinary part (e.g. shaft parts). The increase of the cost and time were due to the additional working procedures for the fabrication of thin-wall structures (e.g. more heat treatments were needed to avoid deformation). Thus, the cost and time could be reduced signicantly using SL instead of NC machining for the fabrication of aeroelastic models with internal structures and thin-wall components. 5.4 Further studies The implementation of optimization should be improved to enhance the efciency and the accuracy: the number of design variables could be reduced through sensitivity analysis, the errors of the locations of centroid might decrease by adjusting the locations of balance-weights, etc. It should be noticed that the correlation of natural modes between the model and the prototype should be studied except for natural frequencies 305

h tx

Model-aluminum

I-shape model

Table V Dimensions and mass of the prototype and models


Parameters Dimensions Length (mm) Height Width Thick-X Mass (g) Structural mass Balance-weight Prototype 400.00 100.00 80.00 6.00 5.00 2,090.6 16.7a Model (SL) 80.00 20.00 15.14 3.53 2.14 15.6 1.1 (0.07b) Model (aluminum) 80.00 20.00 11.78 0.12 0.05 1.3 15.4 (11.85b)

Notes: aThe desired mass of scaled model; bthe times of balance-weights to structural mass

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Figure 11 Dimensions of the model


Rib-tip 1.3 mm String-bottom W: 0.5 mm H: 2.7 mm

.0 50

mm

Web-T.E. 1.1 mm

Skin-top 0.9 mm

Web-L.E. 2.0 mm

84.0

30.0

mm

mm

Skin-bottom 1.1 mm

Table VI Cost/time comparisons of the fabrication of the model


Methods SL NC machining center Materials Resin (SOMOS 14120) Alloy structural steel (41Cr4)
w

Cost $700 $4,000-5,000

Time 35 hours 10-14 days

(Korsch et al., 2009). Thus, the design procedure must be extended to include optimization of natural modes of the model. Because of the structural similarity between the model and the prototype, the SL-based method is hopeful to simplify the implementation of the optimization. In order to ensure stable distribution of material properties, the study on correlation between the material properties and the process parameters (such as build orientation, power of laser, etc.) of SL is recommended. The inuence of model segmenting and assembling on the mechanical behaviors of models should be paid more attention to for the design and fabrication of models that exceed the envelope of SL apparatus (600 400 400 mm for SPS600B). The consistence investigation into the damping properties between resin and metal is important to predict the dynamic behaviors of metal prototypes using resin models (Ziemian et al., 2010; Mahn and Bayly, 1999).

properties and process parameters of SL, the damping properties of resin model, etc. Not withstanding its limitation, this paper does provide assessments of a novel method to design and fabricate structurally similar aeroelastic models for wind tunnel tests based on SL, and help to extend the applications of SL and other similar RP processes to the dynamic behavior study of wings.

References
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6. Conclusions
As the rst two natural frequencies of the model match well to the prototype, the new method presented in this paper proved to be feasible. Thanks to the low-stiffness of SL resin and powerful fabricating capacity of SL process, the SL-based method could be more efcient and accurate to design and fabricate aeroelastic models in view of ensuring structural similarity between prototypes and models, reducing the balanceweight mass, simplifying locating operation of the balanceweights and reducing the cost and time for the fabrication signicantly. To utilize this method practically, some further investigations are recommended, including the relationship between material

Design and fabrication of aeroelastic wing models Weijun Zhu et al.

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Further reading
Heisler, R.R. and Clifford, L.R. (2001), Wind tunnel model design and testing using rapid prototype materials and processes, paper presented at 10th Annual AIAA/BMDO Technology Conference, ADB273195, Williamsburg, VA, 23-26 July.

Corresponding author
Dichen Li can be contacted at: dcli@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

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