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NASA awards UTARI researcher $1 million to develop models for rotor spar fatigue

News International-French

18 Apr 2016

The University of Texas at Arlington and the UTA Research Institute will develop state-of-the-art computational methodologies to predict the strength and life of rotor blade assemblies, known as rotor spars, through a $1 million agreement.

Endel Iarve, an accomplished research scientist and expert in composite materials, will lead the three-year project called “Development of fatigue life prediction of rotor spars by using discrete damage modeling.”

Iarve joined UTA in 2015 as a strategic addition to the newly created Institute for Predictive Performance Methodologies, part of two-pronged strategy to increase research activity and to engage corporations in the process of translating discoveries into practical uses. The Institute is led by Kenneth Reifsnider, an internationally recognized expert in high temperature energy systems and composite materials and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering.

The NASA project is funded through the federal agency’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in alignment with the Advanced Composites Project, which focuses on providing safe and sustainable U.S. and global aviation. Researchers also are working to reduce the timeline for development and certification of state-of-the-art composite materials and structures, which will help make advanced composite components more competitive in commercial aircraft.

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, said the NASA project is evidence of the University’s increasing contribution to the aerospace industry.

Iarve is a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Society for Composites. His research is focused on the understanding and computational modeling of deformation and failure mechanisms of current and emerging composite materials.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Iarve was one of the pioneers of application of B-spline approximation to stress analysis in laminated composites including dynamic problems and impact loading.

His research areas included refined plate and shell theories, biomimetics, composite repair, composite bolted joints, chopped fiber composites and textile composites. Recent research interests are in the area of integrated computational materials science and engineering, bringing together manufacturing and performance aspects of advanced composite materials. Recent developments include discrete damage modeling methodologies for laminated composites under broad range of loading conditions including compression and fatigue.

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