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Finite Element Design and Analysis Approaches for Advanced Military Aircraft

Wilson, Tim

Proceedings, 6th International Meshing Roundtable, Sandia National Laboratories, pp.423, October 1997


New Finte Element Analysis (FEA) techniques are dramatically changing the approaches used for design definition of aerospace products. Traditional processes invlove coarse, low fidelity models and a large amount of user manipulation. The new processes and tools bring much more detail earlier in the product development and are integrally linked to Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) systems. With CAD models becoming totally parametric, the need for fully updateable geometry, automatic mesh creation and tools for rapid updating has become critical. This will allow the analyst to quickly and easily create or update models and perform trades on different configurations of interest. Greater insight into design and manufacturing issues is gained and addressed much earlier in the process. Each finite element model (FEM), will reside in a single database, which is governed by a Product Data Management system. Multiple users and disciplines will be able to access a single FEM in its most up-to-date, and released state, keeping the design consistent as it matures. This single model can be used to perform analysis in any of a number of solvers, both vendor supplied standard software, and internally developed codes. The calculated results from any discipline's analysis may then be stored and accessed in this single model, allowing for all disciplines to utilize any result data in a single post-processing platform. Optimization (both topological and attribute) results will be fully integrated into the FEM allowing for a new FEM to be readily available for checkout. As a result of this final checkout, the Product Data Manager (PDM), will then manage the automatic passing of selected data back to the design community's CAD and CAM models for their evaluation.

A fully integrated parametric FEM system is a requirement for the CAE systems of the future. This will link CAD, CAM, and analysis together in a managed system, allowing for faster, less expensive, better quality solutions.

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