STUDY ANALYZES MATERIALS USED IN AEROSPACE INDUSTRY

THE INITIATION IN RESEARCH FONDECYT PROJECT SEEKS TO OPTIMIZE COMPUTER PROGRAMS TO DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENS IN METALLIC STRUCTURES, LIKE WINGS OF AN AIRPLANE.



March 31, 2017

A project by Professor Jorge Hinojosa, from the Department of Engineering, will study in detail the reactions caused in large metal structures that are under pressure, such as with the wings of an airplane in flight. This is one of the objectives of the project that counts with the support of an Initiation in research FONDECYT grant.
 
"Domain Decomposition Strategy with Non-Linear Location for the Study of Postbuckling in Large Structures," is the name of the initiative that seeks to optimize the computer programs that exist today and that do not permit to obtain accurate data on what happens in the materials at the time of being subjected to deformations or pressures during use. It is a matter of making improvements to make the programs more efficient and robust.
 
To this, the academic will incorporate certain features not previously considered in the algorithms. Its objective is to analyze these phenomena of instability by areas and details, like perforations or joints of the elements of a structure to carry out an assessment of the efforts exerted within the structure and be able to predict, for example, if these situations could cause a crack or other unwanted event.
 

 "At the moment, we cannot do detailed calculations of the materials behavior in large structures on a single computer, because there are programs that analyze the whole structure and not only parts of it. These calculations will be circulating in parallel in many processors to examine the phenomenon with greater accuracy," he explained.
 
 Buckling
 
What is specifically sought to be resolved is the problem called "buckling", which occurs, for example, in the wings of an airplane when in flight and that can be seen with the naked eye in these structures as small waves on the surface. "We are analyzing the curvature that occurs due to compression loads, but that do not cause rupture of the material, but rather elastic deformations, i.e., where the material returns to its initial state", he said.
 
The data obtained from the analysis would make it possible to know with precision the behavior of the metallic structures and thus generate parts which are more efficient to use, for example with less weight or to develop certifications for the machines that are analyzed. This type of application could be used not only in the aeronautical industry, but in wherever metal structures are used that are exposed to these pressures or deformations, such as automobiles or power generators, said Hinojosa.
 
The studies of this kind, according to the academic, are recent and are mainly made in countries such as France and the United States, where these industries are developed. In fact, Hinojosa is working together with French scientists who are at the forefront of this issue, and who will visit Chile in the following years to continue with the line of research carried out with the academic at UTALCA.
 
The initiative includes the acquisition of new computer servers that will be added to the data center that the Department of Engineering has at the Curicó Campus, adding with these new equipments close to 500 processors, which make this computational project one of the most important in the center-south of Chile, together with the one located in the same university, at the Bioinformatics and Molecular Simulation Center (CBSM), also of the Department of Engineering.



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