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Windform used in aero-elastic wind tunnel demonstrators

News International-French

17 Jun 2019

CRP Technology collaborated with the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology of the Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) on the construction of parts for the aeroelastic wind tunnel demonstrators for “Aeroelastic Flutter Suppression (AFS)” e “GLAMOUR” projects.

1.	Innovative wind-tunnel demonstrator– AFS project. The external aerodynamic sectors of the wing and the horizontal tail were 3D printed by CRP Technology using Carbon-composite Windform® XT 2.0. Courtesy of PoliMi

Innovative wind-tunnel demonstrator– AFS project. The external aerodynamic sectors of the wing and the horizontal tail were 3D printed by CRP Technology using Carbon-composite Windform® XT 2.0. Courtesy of PoliMi

The AFS project was launched by PoliMi and the University of Washington to test different active control system technologies aiming to attain Active Flutter Suppression.
The GLAMOUR project was focused on technological optimization and experimental validation of Gust Load Alleviation (GLA) control systems for an advanced Green Regional Aircraft manufactured by Leonardo Aircraft Division.

The contribution of CRP Technology involved the manufacturing of the external aerodynamic segments of the two wind tunnel demonstrators for both projects.
CRP Technology used professional 3D printing (selective laser sintering technology) and Carbon-composite Windform XT 2.0 from its range of composite materials for LS, the Windform TOP-LINE.
Windform XT 2.0 was also used by CRP Technology to create the horizontal tail of the wind tunnel demonstrator for the AFS project.

Aeroelastic wind-tunnel demonstrator– AFS project. Courtesy of PoliMi

Aeroelastic wind-tunnel demonstrator– AFS project. Courtesy of PoliMi

Aerodynamic features correct and enhance the external shape of the wing and, at the same time, transmit the aerodynamic loads to the internal structure.
Prior to professional 3D printing, the aerodynamic sections of the wings were produced by carbon or glass fiber fabrics dry lamination, which were wrapped Styrofoam blocks suitably cut to match the wing’s shape.
This manufacturing process required much longer times and yielded lower quality surface finish.

Professional 3D printing has revolutionized the entire process of construction and verification of the parts allowing the following: faster production speed and possibility of optimizing the internal shape of these aerodynamic sections, allowing to make them as lightweight and stiff as possible.

Aeroelastic wind-tunnel demonstrator

Aeroelastic wind-tunnel demonstrator

Aeroelastic wind-tunnel demonstrator

Aeroelastic wind-tunnel demonstrator

3D printed aerodynamic sectors, assembly phase

3D printed aerodynamic sectors, assembly phase

Innovative wind-tunnel demonstrator– AFS project. Courtesy of PoliMi

Innovative wind-tunnel demonstrator– AFS project. Courtesy of PoliMi