Abstract: Airframe components fabricated from composite materials have traditionally been a costly alternative to aluminum construction. The primary challenge that the aerospace industry for the past decades was to fully obtain the performance benefits of carbon fiber, while dramatically lowering production costs. The limitation of prepregs is the high costs associated to the ply collation and, in part, to the lengthy autoclave cure. Recent composite technology research and development efforts have focused on new “low-cost” material product forms, and automated processes that can markedly increase production efficiencies. Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. and The Boeing Co. have joined forces in the Automobili Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory at the University of Washington (UW) to pioneer out-of-autoclave technologies. Technologies such as liquid resin infusion and advanced compression molding (ACM) have found several applications on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, including primary structural parts such as the main pressure bulkhead, circumferential frames, intercostals and window frames. Similarly, Lamborghini has transitioned from the prepreg and autoclave to liquid
resin infusion and ACM to manufacture the one-piece inner tub of the monocoque of the Aventador and Sesto Elemento respectively.
The presentation will review the applications of ACM technologies on the Boeing and Lamborghini products before focusing on the research being performed at the UW in the area of discontinuous material forms used for ACM. These materials pose unique challenges for engineers tasked with design, analysis and certification of primary structural parts manufactured with them. In particular, this material form exhibits three rather unique characteristics, which dramatically set them apart from traditional laminated tapes and fabrics. These are notch-insensitive behavior, apparent modulus variability, and low sensitivity to defects. In order to account for these behaviors, new analysis methods based on stochastic approaches need to be developed, opening the way to new certification methodologies. Lastly, the presentation will also give a short overview of other two joint collaborative research activities between Boeing and Lamborghini in the areas on advanced crash analysis and repair technology.
Bio: Paolo Feraboli joined the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the University of Washington
in the summer of 2005, as Assistant Professor in Aerospace Structures and Materials. He is the Director of
the Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL), which was named after Automobili Lamborghini in
October 2009 following a generous unrestricted fund for its establishment. The ACSL is comprised of the
Manufacturing & Characterization facility, the NDI and Repair facility, and the Impact Dynamics Research Facility. The lab has received nationwide and worldwide press coverage through newspapers, magazines and televion in several occasions. Dr. Feraboli receives most of its research funding from The Boeing Company
and the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA), but other support has come from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Japanese Ministry of Defence, Callaway Golf, and Northrop Grumman for various research projects related to the development of analytical and experimental techniques for composite materials. He is particularly interested in composites aircraft safety, including out-of-autoclave material certification, foreign object damage, lightning strike, repair technology, and crashworthiness.
Since 2003, Dr. Feraboli has authored has authored 30 archival journal publications and presented over
50 conference papers. He is the founding and current Chair of the CMH-17 (former MIL-HDBK-17)
Working Group on Crashworthiness, and member of its Board of Directors. He served as past Chair of the
Durability and Damage Tolerance Technical Division of the American Society for Composites (ASC), and
Secretary of the AIAA Materials Technical Committee. He is the recipient of the 2010 Young Investigator
Award of the American Society for Composites, the 2008 Hayashi Memorial International Award of the
Japan Society for Composite Materials, the 2004 Outstanding PhD Research Award of the American Society
for Composites, and the 2003 SPE Automotive Division Student Award. Dr. Feraboli earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara under the supervision of Dr. Keith Kedward, and holds previous degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy. In 2007 he was actively involved with the methods development of the composite-intensive Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and worked in the 787 Technology Integration group under Dr. Al Miller.
Host: Prof. Bob McMeeking