# Development of analytical methods for fuselage design

:

validation by means of ﬁnite element analyses

L Boni and D Fanteria

*

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Universita` di Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: The paper presents the results of a set of ﬁnite element analyses (FEAs) carried out to

support the development of an integrated design procedure that, based on semi-empirical and

analytical methods, is capable of deﬁning generic fuselage sections of a transport aircraft. The

procedure, which is implemented in a structural optimization code, deﬁnes a structure that, compliant

with durability and damage tolerance requirements, is characterized by a post-critical behaviour of

the stiffened panels and by a design of the frames that takes the frame ﬂexibility and the presence of

the ﬂoor beams into account.

FEAs, carried out on a reference conﬁguration deﬁned by the optimization code, are used to

acquire a deeper knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the analytical approach in the

design of complex structures subjected to realistic load cases. In particular, the inﬂuence of the actual

frame ﬂexibility on the distribution of the skin shear ﬂow induced by the frame is evaluated;

moreover, the effects on the stress distribution in skin and frames, caused by the presence of the

stringers, and of the stiffness concentration introduced by the ﬂoor beam are addressed.

Finite element method results demonstrate the effectiveness of the analytical model of the ﬂexible

frame in evaluating the shear ﬂow that a single loaded frame transfers to the skin and highlight the

effects of the presence of adjacent loaded frames. By means of geometrically non-linear FEAs, the

effects of the stringers on the stress distribution of a pressurized cylinder are evaluated, as well as the

magnitude and extension of the perturbation introduced by the ﬂoor beams.

Keywords: structural optimization, fuselage design, frame, ﬁnite element methods

NOTATION

D shell bending stiffness per unit length

E Young’s modulus of the material

I

x

moment of inertia of the fuselage section

with respect to the X axis

M

x

longitudinal bending moment

M

z

axial torque

N load index

N

z

longitudinal membrane axial force per unit

length

q shear ﬂow

R fuselage radius

S

x

static moment of the fuselage section with

respect to the X axis

t skin thickness

t

eq

equivalent skin thickness

T

y

shear load acting along the Y axis

w skin radial displacement

w

f

frame radial displacement

Dp pressure load

n Poisson’s ratio of the material

W anomaly along the fuselage perimeter

1 INTRODUCTION

The fuselage of a commercial aircraft has the funda-

mental function of accommodating the payload, by

guaranteeing a good level of comfort for the passengers

and a high functionality in the cargo storage, in addition

to containing the instrumentation and the ﬂight equip-

ment.

The fuselage structural layout is quite complex,

because such a structure must withstand aerodynamic

and mass loads (causing bending, torsion, and shear) as

well as internal pressure loads. As for every structural

The MS was received on 23 December 2003 and was accepted after

revision for publication on 24 August 2004.

*

Corresponding author: Department of Aerospace Engineering, Pisa

University, Via G Caruso, Pisa 156126, Italy. email: d.fanteria@ing.

unipi.it

315

G05603 # IMechE 2004 Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs Vol. 218 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

component of an aircraft, the fuselage weight must be

kept to a minimum, while retaining adequate perfor-

mances with respect to safety requirements and eco-

nomical exigencies.

Conventional analysis methods have been developed

since the late 1940s, especially in the USA [1–3] and

continuously reﬁned through the years to obtain well-

established simpliﬁed stress analysis methods; typical

examples of such methods can be found in the literature

[4–8].

Semi-empirical and analytical stress methods can be

integrated into design procedures, often implemented in

computer codes, which are suitable for proﬁtable use in

the pre-development phase of new airframes [9].

By using such integrated design procedures a baseline

conﬁguration can be deﬁned starting from a limited

number of input parameters; this makes them the ideal

tool to carry out parametric and sensitivity studies in the

preliminary design phase. The results, which are rapidly

achieved through a process of constrained optimization

with respect to given combinations of desirable features

(mass, cost, etc.), constitute a good starting point for

more sophisticated method of structural design and

optimization usually based on ﬁnite element analyses

(FEAs).

The capability of a design procedure, based on semi-

empirical and analytical methods, to generate signiﬁcant

results relies upon the applicability of the methods, upon

the validity of the unavoidable simplifying assumptions

and on a correct management of the interfaces between

the number of procedures for the design of the structural

components.

In this context, at the Dipartimento di Ingegneria

Aerospaziale, an integrated design procedure has been

developed and implemented in a computer code, which

permits the minimum weight dimensioning of typical

components of a transport aircraft fuselage, i.e. stiffened

panels, frames, and passenger and cargo ﬂoor beams,

supporting struts and tear straps [10].

During the development of the integrated design

procedure, speciﬁc FEAs have been carried out on a

reference conﬁguration deﬁned by the numerical code in

order to achieve a deeper insight into some aspects of

the structural design of fuselage components.

In this paper some results of such FEAs are

presented and discussed, with the aim of developing an

adequate sensitivity about the advantages and the

limitations of the analytical approach, when used to

design complex structures subjected to realistic load

cases and, possibly, to quantify the magnitude of such

limitation with respect to more reﬁned design and

analysis methods.

In particular, results obtained by two sets of FEAs

will be discussed. The ﬁrst group of analyses has the

objective of evaluating the inﬂuence of the frame

ﬂexibility and of the presence of mass load on multiple

frames on the shear ﬂow introduced into the skin. This

contributes to assessing the validity of the results

obtained by using the ‘load coefﬁcient method’ [1]

which can cope with ﬂexible frames, but it is able to

manage a design case characterized by a single loaded

frame properly while loads are actually distributed on all

the frames.

The second set of analyses is aimed ﬁrst at evaluating

the effects on the stress distribution in skin and frames,

caused by the presence of the stringers under the action

of the pressure loads, and then at estimating the

magnitude and extension of the inﬂuence of the stiffness

concentration introduced by the ﬂoor beams. The results

of this group of FEAs will give a contribution to assess

the applicability of the theoretical design methods to a

geometry representative of a wide-body fuselage section.

The theoretical methods, which originate from the

theory of thin-walled cylinders stiffened by equally

spaced circular frames can be formulated, according to

reference [4], in order to account for the presence of the

longitudinal stiffening elements (stringers) by adding an

extra thickness to the skin, as the result of the spreading

of the stringers’ cross-sectional area over the skin

perimeter. Such an approach takes into account the

increase in resistant area due to the stringer contribu-

tion, but it is not able to predict the actual modiﬁcation

in the stress ﬁeld of the skin and frames induced by the

stiffeners. Moreover, classical methods are based on the

hypothesis of structural axial symmetry of the fuselage

section, so that it is not possible to take into account the

presence of cabin and lower-deck ﬂoor beams, which

introduce major alterations in the stiffness of the

frame.

The general structure of the integrated design

procedure is brieﬂy reviewed in section 2 of the paper;

then the attention is focused on a critical review of the

methodologies and on some of the results obtained,

which are used later to deﬁne the contributions to the

design of the fuselage section of both the mass and

pressure load cases. Section 4 presents ﬁnite element

models used to carry out the two sets of analyses,

while the main results are presented and discussed

in the following section. Finally a few concluding

remarks and recommendations for future work are

given.

2 DESCRIPTION OF THE INTEGRATED

DESIGN PROCEDURE

With reference to a conventional transport aircraft

fuselage with circular cross-section, a ﬂow diagram of

the design procedure is shown in Fig. 1. The procedure

is based on the simplifying hypothesis of symmetry of

the geometry and of the design loads with respect to the

aircraft longitudinal plane (YZ plane in Fig. 2). The

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reference section for design is located in the cylindrical

part of the aft fuselage; the latter is assumed to be

clamped at the rear spar bulkhead and subjected to the

following design loads: longitudinal bending moment

M

x

, shear load T

y

, and torque M

z

.

The design procedure is of iterative nature and starts

with a preliminary evaluation of the load index N, given

by

N ¼

M

x

pR

2

ð1Þ

where R is the fuselage radius.

Since the outer structure of the fuselage must be

designed according to speciﬁc requirements which vary

Fig. 2 Main components of the fuselage section

Fig. 1 Flow diagram of the design procedure relevant to a fuselage section

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along the perimeter, three fundamental typologies of

stiffened panel are identiﬁed, according to the sketch in

Fig. 2, i.e. upper panel, lower panel, and lateral panels.

At each iteration step the geometry of the panels is

deﬁned, as the result of the design procedure and of the

geometrical features of the frame and of the passenger

and cargo ﬂoor beams are evaluated. Once the geometry

of the cross-section is known, load indices relevant to

each panel are re-evaluated and a new step of the

iterative procedure is started. When convergence with

respect to the load indices is obtained, the ﬁnal geometry

of the fuselage cross section is completed by dimension-

ing the tear strap

*

.

Analytical methods used in the procedure described

above allow the design of a structure that is compliant

with durability and damage tolerance requirements

[11, 12]. The design codes allow the lower and the upper

panels to be designed in such a way that instability

phenomena under compression loads occur at an

assigned value of the load factor. In particular, the

post-critical behaviour of these panels is accounted for

in the case when the design instability load factor is

lower than the ultimate [3, 5, 6]. The lateral panels,

according to the theory of the incomplete diagonal stress

state, are designed in post-critical ﬁeld under combined

compression and shear loads [2, 6, 10]. The design of the

frames takes into account the mutual skin-frame

ﬂexibility and the presence of the ﬂoor beams [1, 10].

3 ANALYTICAL MODELS AND RESULTS

In this section, a critical review of the theoretical

methods, and of the results achievable by using them,

is reported; in particular, attention is focused on the

distribution of the skin shear ﬂow, caused by the frame,

along the section perimeter and to the effects of the

presence of a circular frame on the radial displacement

distribution of a non-stiffened cylindrical shell.

3.1 Models for the structural analysis of the frame

The roughest model that can be employed to calculate

the distribution of the shear ﬂow in correspondence of a

frame is based on the assumption that the frame is

inﬁnitely stiff in its plane and has no stiffness for out-of-

plane deformations; under such hypotheses, the shear

ﬂow is given by the Jourawsky equation

q ¼

T

y

S

x

I

x

ð2Þ

T

y

being the shear load at the section, S

x

the static

moment, and I

x

the moment of inertia of the section

with respect to the X axis (see Fig. 2).

By indicating the anomaly by the symbol W, equation

(2) gives the expression

qðWÞ ¼

T

y

pR

sinðWÞ ð3Þ

for the shear ﬂow distribution along the section

perimeter.

In the case of a transport aircraft fuselage, the

frame is characterized by an intrinsic ﬂexibility that

invalidates the elementary approach just described, and

therefore more sophisticated analysis methods have

been proposed in the past. Among these the following

three are well established: the elastic centre method,

the pressure circle method, and the load coefﬁcient

method [1].

Of the three approaches, the load coefﬁcient method

is by far the most complete and thus has been used in the

design code; it considers that the frame distorts under

load and alters the shear ﬂow distribution in the shell.

Consequently the loads and stresses are resolved into

two systems: the ﬁrst is relevant to the equilibrium stress

ﬁeld obtained from applied loads by means of the

elementary theory, and the second consists of a

corrective stress distribution deriving from the distor-

tions of the frames and the skin. This second system is

evaluated as a function of the relative-stiffness para-

meter, which relates shell stiffness to frame stiffness;

then, the solution is obtained by superposition of the

two load–stress systems.

The load coefﬁcient method has been used to evaluate

the shear ﬂow distribution for the case of a single frame

with constant mass load distribution along both

passenger and cargo ﬂoor beams. The loads are

transferred to the frame, and then to the skin, at

connection areas with the ﬂoor beams and with the

struts supporting them (Fig. 2). At each of these

connection areas between the frame and the ﬂoor

beams, a force and a bending moment are introduced

into the frame while, at each strut–frame connection

area, only a force is exchanged. The ﬁnal distribution of

the skin shear ﬂow along the section perimeter is

obtained by superposition of four load systems, as

shown in Fig. 3.

The load coefﬁcient method is used in the optimiza-

tion code to account for the mass loads in the

dimensioning procedure of the frame. The latter is

designed to withstand mass and pressure loads and in

compliance of a number of static and fatigue require-

ments.

In Fig. 4 the results obtained with the load coefﬁcient

method are compared with those given by the rigid

frame model [equation (3)], for the case when sole mass

loads act on the frame.

*

Connection elements (clips) between the skin and the frames (shear

ties) and between the frames and the stiffeners (stringer ties) are not

included in the design procedure; however, their presence has been

taken into account in some of the FEAs.

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From the results presented in Fig. 4, it is observed

that the presence of frame ﬂexibility introduces the

possibility that the shear ﬂow becomes negative in

certain regions of the fuselage section; thus, for the same

resultant shear load, the maximum value of the shear

ﬂow exceeds (by more than four times in the example

shown) the peak value of the sinusoidal distribution

relevant to the rigid frame case. Moreover, the location

of the peak value of the shear ﬂow moves towards the

region between the two ﬂoor beams, while in the crown

part of the fuselage section the magnitude of the shear

ﬂow is quite small (about 4 per cent of the peak value in

the example shown).

3.2 Modelling of the effects of the pressure loads

The effects of the presence of circumferential stiffening

elements (frames) on the stress–strain ﬁeld induced by

pressure loads Dp in a thin-walled cylinder of radius R

and thickness t can be described by the classical theory

[4], resulting in the differential equation in terms of the

radial displacement w, namely

q

4

w

qz

4

À

N

z

D

q

2

w

qz

2

þ

tE

DR

2

w ¼ À

Dp

D

þ

nN

z

DR

ð4Þ

where N

z

is the longitudinal membrane axial force ðN

z

¼

Fig. 3 Load systems on the frame

Fig. 4 Theoretical skin shear ﬂow distribution for inﬁnitely stiff and ﬂexible frame

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s

z

t ¼ RDp=2Þ and D is the bending stiffness given by

D ¼

Et

3

12ð1 À n

2

Þ

ð5Þ

E being Young’s modulus of the material and n

Poisson’s ratio. The general form of the solution of

differential equation (4) is

wðzÞ ¼ w þ

¸

4

i¼1

A

i

exp

z

l

i

ð6Þ

where 1=l

i

are the roots ð [ CÞ of the characteristic

equation associated with equation (4) and w is the

particular solution that can be derived by setting

derivatives to zero in equation (4) according to

w ¼ À 1 À

n

2

DpR

2

Et

¼ 1 À

n

2

w

m

ð7Þ

For the simple case of a single frame, solution (6)

must satisfy the boundary conditions

wj

z¼0

¼

0, ? rigid frame,

Àw

f

, flexible frame,

lim

z??

ðwÞ ¼ ww

dw

dz

z¼0

¼ 0, lim

z??

dw

dz

¼ 0

ð8Þ

In the case of four real roots

*

, the solution assumes the

form

w

w

m

¼

1 À

n

2

1 À

1 À w

f

=w

ðl

2

À l

1

Þ

l

2

exp À

z

l

2

À l

1

exp À

z

l

1

¸

ð9Þ

where 1=l

1

and 1=l

2

are given by the relationships

1

l

1

¼

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

R Dp

4D

1 þ

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

1 À

4E

2

t

4

3ð1 À n

2

Þ Dp

2

R

4

1

l

2

¼

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

R Dp

4D

1 À

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

1 À

4E

2

t

4

3ð1 À n

2

Þ Dp

2

R

4

ð10Þ

For the case of multiple equally spaced frames,

equation (4) yields similar results by adopting suitable

boundary conditions; such results have been extended to

the more realistic case of a stiffened shell by using a

modiﬁed equation proposed in reference [4], which is

based on the concept of spreading the stringer section

area along the fuselage perimeter, resulting in an

unstiffened shell of equivalent thickness t

eq

.

4 FINITE ELEMENT MODELS OF THE

FUSELAGE BARREL

The geometrical model of the fuselage barrel has been

built by using the parametric modelling tool included in

the commercial software ANSYS 5.7; the same software

has been used for the meshing, solution, and post-

processing phases.

Since the real structure is mainly constituted by thin-

walled components, shell elements have been used

extensively in the meshing phase together with beam

elements to model stiffening members (low-resolution

meshes of frames and stringers). Shell element number

63 has been selected [13], which is a four-node plane

element having six degrees of freedom per node and

capable of simulating bending and membrane beha-

viour.

As far as meshing strategies are concerned, an

analysis region has been selected that is enclosed

between two boundary zones where border effects due

to loads and constraints disappear. For such main zones

a structured mesh is adopted with a ﬁner grid for the

analysis region and a coarser grid for the boundary

zones; between these two, transition regions exist for

which it is convenient to use a free meshing approach

(an example of such meshing strategy is given in Fig. 5).

4.1 Model for mass load analyses

For these kinds of analysis, the fuselage is assumed to

have a clamped section, corresponding to the wing rear

spar, and to be subjected to constant mass load per unit

length on both the upper-deck and the lower-deck ﬂoor

beams [10, 14].

The analysis barrel has a length of seven bays and is

contained between two boundary zones: a ﬁrst zone,

composed of 12 bays, is on the constraint side, while the

second zone extends for 19 bays towards the tail cone

(Fig. 5). The presence of the stringers is accounted for by

means of an equivalent shell thickness. As far as the

modelling of the frames and of the ﬂoor beams is

concerned, in the boundary zones they are represented

by means of beam elements, while in the analysis region

they are modelled according to the example shown in

Fig. 6. Moreover, in the analysis region the frames and

the skin are connected by using node-to-node rigid

elements (CERIG) [13].

The main data used for the analyses carried out to

study mass loads effects are summarized in Table 1.

They refer to the outputs of the optimization code

relevant to a one-g load index of 200 N/mm, for the

design of stiffened panels with hat stringers at a spacing

*

The case of real roots is relevant to fuselages characterized by small

values of the ratio ðt=RÞ

4

for typical pressurization levels (50–60 kPa).

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of 200 mm, and to mass loads equivalent to resultant

section shear loads of 10 000 and 5000 N for upper-deck

and lower-deck ﬂoor beams respectively. The dimen-

sions refer to a Z geometry for the frame cross-section

and an I geometry for the cross-section of both ﬂoor

beams.

All components are made of aluminium alloy 2024

with Young’s modulus equal to 72 000 MPa and

Poisson’s ratio equal to 0.32.

4.2 Models for pressure load analyses

The effects of the pressure load have been studied by

means of models of increasing geometrical complexity,

in order to evaluate the contributions to the stress–strain

ﬁeld of the different fuselage components [10, 15].

The models have been developed using the hypothesis

of cylindrical symmetry, so that only a cylindrical sector

has been modelled of ﬁnite extension along the long-

itudinal axis of the fuselage (Fig. 7). To respect the

symmetry and equilibrium conditions, the cylindrical

sector must be properly constrained and loaded at its

edges: those parallel to the fuselage axis (side edges) are

constrained against circumferential displacement while

on the edges orthogonal to the axis (normal edges)

different conditions are applied; one is restrained against

axial displacement and to the other a tensile load per

Fig. 5 Meshing strategies

Fig. 6 Frame meshing example

Table 1 Main dimensions used for the FEAs

Value (mm)

Component

Mass load

analyses

Pressure

load

analyses

Fuselage diameter 5640

Spacing of frames (bay length) 500

Equivalent skin thickness 3.6

Skin thickness – 2

Spacing of stringers 200

Web height of hat stringers – 56

Free ﬂange width of hat stringers – 16.8

Connection ﬂange width of hat stringers – 56.6

Thickness of hat stringers – 1.97

Tear-strap width – 47

Tear-strap thickness – 0.64

Frame web height 165

Frame ﬂange width 36.5

Frame thickness 1.5

Web height of upper-deck ﬂoor beam 240

Flange width of upper-deck ﬂoor beam 156

Thickness of upper-deck ﬂoor beam 2.5

Web height of lower-deck ﬂoor beam 180

Flange width of lower-deck ﬂoor beam 60

Thickness of lower-deck ﬂoor beam 1.5

Fig. 7 Fuselage sector meshing example

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unit length is applied in order to establish the

equilibrium of the structure when subjected to a pressure

load. The value of such an axial load corresponds to that

given by the analytical model for the case of a

circumferentially non-stiffened shell (i.e. in absence of

frames).

The sector extension in the circumferential direction

has been determined so that the effect of the constraints

on the side edges is almost suppressed in the central

portion of the arc, where the analysis section is located.

As far as the extension in the longitudinal direction is

concerned, two cases have been analysed: for the models

characterized by a single central frame, the axial length

of the sector has been selected in such a way as to allow

for the effect of the frame to be suppressed at the normal

edges; for the models with multiple frames, a number of

bays in the longitudinal direction have been modelled so

that the stress–strain distribution in the central bay is

not affected by the boundary effects at normal edges.

In the model used to study the effects of the

longitudinal stringers, the real geometry of the frame

has been accounted for, which includes the holes

necessary for the crossing of the stringers and the

presence of the tear strap between the skin and the

frame.

Finally, a model has been developed that takes into

account the presence of a structural element that

interrupts the axial symmetry of the fuselage section

(Fig. 8). The upper-deck ﬂoor beam has been added,

lying on the bisector to the fuselage cylindrical portion;

symmetry constraints are applied to the ﬂoor beam

at the longitudinal plane of symmetry of the fuselage

(Fig. 9).

In all the models the cross-section of the frames has a

Z shape and the tear strap is modelled as a simple strip;

hat stringers have been used and the ﬂoor beam has an I

cross-section. Main dimensions of the components are

summarized in Table 1 and correspond to the output of

the optimization code relevant to a pressure load of

68 000 Pa.

Also for this model all components are made of

aluminium alloy 2024, except for the tear strap, for

which titanium alloy is used.

5 RESULTS OF THE FINITE ELEMENT

ANALYSES

In this section the results relevant to the models and

load conditions described in the previous section are

discussed. In particular, as far as the mass load analyses

are concerned, a comparison of analytical versus

numerical results of the shear ﬂow transfer between

the skin and the frame is presented. Numerical results

have been obtained by means of a linear FEA.

The results concerning the pressure load analyses are

subdivided into two parts: the ﬁrst considers the effects

of the stringers while the second shows the modiﬁcations

of the stress ﬁeld due to the presence of a structural

element which causes the loss of axial symmetry. The

results of the two subsets have been computed by using a

geometrically non-linear ﬁnite element method (FEM)

which had been previously tested against well-known

theoretical results relevant to a constant thickness shell

stiffened by means of equally spaced frames. For such

cases the agreement between the numerical results and

the theoretical data was found to be excellent. Fig. 8 Meshing example of a fuselage sector with ﬂoor beams

Fig. 9 Circumferential control stations

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5.1 Skin-frame shear ﬂow transfer: comparison of

analytical and numerical results

In Fig. 10, results relevant to the case of a single loaded

frame are shown. It can be observed that the skin shear

ﬂow, induced by the frame, predicted by FEA is in fairly

good agreement with the theoretical distribution along

the section perimeter. Both results highlight that the

region above the upper-deck ﬂoor beam is relatively

unloaded, while the major part of the overall shear load

is carried by the regions between the two ﬂoor beams.

Results relevant to the case of multiple loaded frames

are compared with the results of a single-loaded frame in

Fig. 11. It is evident that the presence of loaded frames

in the vicinity of the section under analysis redistributes

the skin shear ﬂow, so that the peak value is shifted

towards the upper-deck ﬂoor beam; as a consequence,

the zone right above the ﬂoor beam, where the shear

ﬂow is close to zero in the previous case, results in a

signiﬁcant amount of shear load.

As a ﬁnal remark, it can be observed that the shear

ﬂow distribution in the case of multiple loaded frames is

%

Fig. 10 Single-loaded frame: comparison between theoretical and FEM results

Fig. 11 FEM results: comparison of a single loaded frame and multiple loaded frames

ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES 323

G05603 # IMechE 2004 Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs Vol. 218 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

quite similar to the distribution predicted by the

elementary theory.

5.2 Effects of the stringers on the stress–strain ﬁeld due

to pressurization

In Fig. 12, results relevant to the case of a single and

inﬁnitely stiff frame inserted in a shell stiffened by

longitudinal stringers are shown in terms of non-

dimensional radial displacement versus longitudinal

non-dimensional coordinate

*

, while in Fig. 13 the

variation in the radial displacement along the section

Fig. 12 Comparison of FEM and theory for a single, inﬁnitely stiff frame and stiffened shell

Fig. 13 FEM results for a single, inﬁnitely stiff frame and stiffened shell

*

The origin of the longitudinal coordinate is at the location of one of

the frames; the reference length used to make the longitudinal

coordinate non-dimensional is l

2

&68:3 mm; the radial displacement

is made non-dimensional by dividing it by w

m

¼ Dp R

2

=Et&3:75 mm.

L BONI AND D FANTERIA 324

Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs Vol. 218 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering G05603 # IMechE 2004

perimeter, for different sections distributed in long-

itudinal direction, is presented.

About the radial displacement distribution along the

longitudinal axis, the followingobservations canbe made.

1. Far from the frame, the presence of stringers

diminishes the membrane axial stress in the skin,

causing a larger radial expansion of the stiffened shell

with respect to the non-stiffened shell.

2. Close to the frame, halfway between two stringers,

the radial displacement approaches the asymptotical

value of the theoretical distribution relevant to the

solution with equivalent thickness t

eq

; as the distance

from the frame increases, the numerical solution

tends to the theoretical value relevant to the non-

stiffened shell of thickness t.

3. Close to the frame, at the stringers location, the

radial displacement is signiﬁcantly lower than the one

between the stringers; such difference disappears as

the distance from the frame increases.

Fig. 14 FEM results for multiple frames and stiffened shell: longitudinal variation in radial displacement

Fig. 15 FEM results for multiple frames and stiffened shell: circumferential variation in radial displacement

ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES 325

G05603 # IMechE 2004 Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs Vol. 218 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

In Figs 14 and 15, results relevant to the case of

multiple frames, of ﬁnite stiffness, in a longitudinally

stiffened shell are shown in terms of variation in the

radial displacement along the longitudinal axis and

along the section perimeter respectively.

Close to the frames, the radial displacement halfway

between two stringers is lower than that at the stringers

location (Fig. 14); at mid-bay between the frames the

opposite is true; i.e., the stiffened shell expands more

halfway between two stringers than in correspondence

to the stringers themselves. The behaviour mentioned

above can be observed also in Fig. 15 by comparing the

circumferential distribution of radial displacement at

stations 1 and 4. An explanation of such behaviour can

be given by realizing that the stiffness of the frame is not

uniform but decreases signiﬁcantly at stringers locations

due to the presence of the holes to allow for the crossing

of the stringers themselves.

5.3 Perturbation of the stress–strain ﬁeld due to

pressurization caused by the ﬂoor beams

Figure 16 shows the radial displacement along the

longitudinal axis, at several stations distributed along

the circumferential direction (see Fig. 9), relevant to the

case of a stiffened shell with multiple frames and taking

into account the presence of the ﬂoor beam. It is evident

that the high longitudinal stiffness of the ﬂoor beam

strongly modiﬁes the distribution of the radial displace-

ment in the vicinity of the ﬂoor beam itself (station 1);

nevertheless, such effect decreases rapidly as the distance

of the control stations increases, so that at station 6 the

value of the displacement at mid-bay between the frames

reaches the value calculated in absence of the ﬂoor beam

(see also Fig. 13 for comparison).

6 CONCLUSIONS

The results of some speciﬁc FEAs, carried out to

support the development of an integrated procedure

based on analytical and semi-empirical methods, for the

design of aircraft fuselage components, have been

presented and discussed with the aim of achieving a

deeper understanding of the advantages and the limita-

tions of the analytical approach.

FEM results demonstrate the effectiveness of the load

coefﬁcient method in estimating the shear ﬂow that a

single loaded ﬂexible frame introduces into the skin and

highlight the importance of the interactions between

stress–strain ﬁelds induced by a set of equally spaced

frames subjected to typical mass load distributions on

the ﬂoor beams. From this point of view, the elementary

theory provides anyway a solution that is a good

starting point for further high-ﬁdelity ﬁnite-element-

based design activities.

Results of ﬁnite element models for pressure load

analyses highlight that, as far as a ﬁrst-approach design

is sought, the theoretical methods can be regarded as

fully satisfactory; nevertheless, more advanced tools are

needed when dealing with detailed design of the regions

in the vicinity of the stringers and of those structural

elements (such as the ﬂoor beams) that invalidate the

hypothesis of axial symmetry on which theoretical

methods are based.

Although the results presented cannot be regarded as

complete and exhaustive, they are a ﬁrst step towards the

validation of the analytical design procedure; further

Fig. 16 FEM results for multiple frames and stiffened shell with ﬂoor beams

L BONI AND D FANTERIA 326

Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs Vol. 218 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering G05603 # IMechE 2004

investigations are planned for which the use of more

reﬁned FEAs are being considered. From this point of

view, the combined use of a three-dimensional parametric

modeller, which can manage assemblies of many compo-

nents, and a FEM solver, with enhanced submodelling

and interface capabilities, would be very advantageous.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors would like to express their sincere

appreciation to Professor Attilio Salvetti and Professor

Luigi Lazzeri for the encouragement, the many helpful

suggestions and fruitful discussions.

The help given by Massimiliano Cartolano and

Francesco Calvetti in carrying out the FEAs is gratefully

acknowledged.

REFERENCES

1 Wignot, J. E., Combe, H., and Ensrud, A. F. Analysis of

circular shell-supported frames. Technical Note NACA TN

929, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 1944.

2 Khun, P., Peterson, J. P., and Levin, L. R. A. Summary of

diagonal tension. Technical Note NACA TN 2661,

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 1952.

3 Gerard, G. The crippling strength of compression elements.

J. Aeronaut. Sci., 1958, 25, 37–52.

4 Williams, D. An Introduction to the Theory of Aircraft

Structures, 1960 (Arnold, London).

5 Rivello, R. M. Theory and Analysis of Flight Structures,

1969 (McGraw-Hill, New York).

6 Bruhn, E. F. Analysis and Design of Flight Vehicle

Structure, 1973 (Jacobs Publishing, Indianapolis).

7 Niu, M. C. Airframe Structural Design, 1988 (Conmilit

Press, Hong Kong).

8 Engineering Sciences Data Units, Structures Sub-Series

(ESDU International Limited, London).

9 Schmidt, A., Lapple, M., and Kelm, R. Advanced fuselage

weight estimation for the new generation of transport

aircraft. SAWE paper 2406, 1997.

10 Boni, L. Methodologies for the optimum design of fuselage

structures of transport aircraft. PhD thesis, University of

Pisa, Pisa, Italy, April 2004.

11 Poe Jr, C. C. Stress intensity factor for cracked sheet with

riveted and uniformly spaced stringers. Technical Report

NASA TR-R-358, 1971 (National Aeronautics and Space

Administration).

12 Swift, T. Damage Tolerance in Pressurized Fuselages. In

Proceedings of the 14th International Committee on

Aeronautical Fatigue Symposium, Ottawa, Canada, 8–12

June 1987, pp. 1–77.

13 ANSYS User’s Manual, Version 5.7, 1997 (ANSYS Inc.,

Canonsburg, USA).

14 Cartolano, M. Analisi numeriche di strutture di fusoliera

soggette a sollecitazioni di ﬂessione e taglio. Final degree

thesis, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 2002.

15 Calvetti, F. Analisi numeriche di strutture di fusoliera

soggette a sollecitazioni di pressurizzazione. Final degree

thesis, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 2002.

ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES 327

G05603 # IMechE 2004 Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs Vol. 218 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

The theoretical methods. at the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale. speciﬁc FEAs have been carried out on a reference conﬁguration deﬁned by the numerical code in order to achieve a deeper insight into some aspects of the structural design of fuselage components.). In this paper some results of such FEAs are presented and discussed. caused by the presence of the stringers under the action of the pressure loads. with the aim of developing an adequate sensitivity about the advantages and the limitations of the analytical approach. The procedure is based on the simplifying hypothesis of symmetry of the geometry and of the design loads with respect to the aircraft longitudinal plane (YZ plane in Fig. Instn Mech. to quantify the magnitude of such limitation with respect to more reﬁned design and analysis methods. possibly. this makes them the ideal tool to carry out parametric and sensitivity studies in the preliminary design phase. 218 Part G: J. but it is not able to predict the actual modiﬁcation in the stress ﬁeld of the skin and frames induced by the stiffeners. so that it is not possible to take into account the presence of cabin and lower-deck ﬂoor beams. 2). Aerospace Engineering
contributes to assessing the validity of the results obtained by using the ‘load coefﬁcient method’ [1] which can cope with ﬂexible frames. classical methods are based on the hypothesis of structural axial symmetry of the fuselage section. results obtained by two sets of FEAs will be discussed. in order to account for the presence of the longitudinal stiffening elements (stringers) by adding an extra thickness to the skin. cost. By using such integrated design procedures a baseline conﬁguration can be deﬁned starting from a limited number of input parameters. based on semiempirical and analytical methods. while the main results are presented and discussed in the following section. supporting struts and tear straps [10]. During the development of the integrated design procedure. and then at estimating the magnitude and extension of the inﬂuence of the stiffness concentration introduced by the ﬂoor beams. typical examples of such methods can be found in the literature [4–8]. The
G05603 # IMechE 2004
. Conventional analysis methods have been developed since the late 1940s. Such an approach takes into account the increase in resistant area due to the stringer contribution. This
Proc. a ﬂow diagram of the design procedure is shown in Fig. stiffened panels. an integrated design procedure has been developed and implemented in a computer code. often implemented in computer codes. as the result of the spreading of the stringers’ cross-sectional area over the skin perimeter. which introduce major alterations in the stiffness of the frame. The ﬁrst group of analyses has the objective of evaluating the inﬂuence of the frame ﬂexibility and of the presence of mass load on multiple frames on the shear ﬂow introduced into the skin. The results of this group of FEAs will give a contribution to assess the applicability of the theoretical design methods to a geometry representative of a wide-body fuselage section. which permits the minimum weight dimensioning of typical components of a transport aircraft fuselage. The capability of a design procedure. etc. i. frames. In this context. constitute a good starting point for more sophisticated method of structural design and optimization usually based on ﬁnite element analyses (FEAs). Engrs Vol. when used to design complex structures subjected to realistic load cases and. which are suitable for proﬁtable use in the pre-development phase of new airframes [9]. and passenger and cargo ﬂoor beams. but it is able to manage a design case characterized by a single loaded frame properly while loads are actually distributed on all the frames. The general structure of the integrated design procedure is brieﬂy reviewed in section 2 of the paper. The second set of analyses is aimed ﬁrst at evaluating the effects on the stress distribution in skin and frames. 1. which are used later to deﬁne the contributions to the design of the fuselage section of both the mass and pressure load cases.e. Section 4 presents ﬁnite element models used to carry out the two sets of analyses. In particular.316
L BONI AND D FANTERIA
component of an aircraft. upon the validity of the unavoidable simplifying assumptions and on a correct management of the interfaces between the number of procedures for the design of the structural components. to generate signiﬁcant results relies upon the applicability of the methods. Moreover. Finally a few concluding remarks and recommendations for future work are given. The results. then the attention is focused on a critical review of the methodologies and on some of the results obtained. which are rapidly achieved through a process of constrained optimization with respect to given combinations of desirable features (mass. especially in the USA [1–3] and continuously reﬁned through the years to obtain wellestablished simpliﬁed stress analysis methods.
2
DESCRIPTION OF THE INTEGRATED DESIGN PROCEDURE
With reference to a conventional transport aircraft fuselage with circular cross-section. while retaining adequate performances with respect to safety requirements and economical exigencies. the fuselage weight must be kept to a minimum. which originate from the theory of thin-walled cylinders stiffened by equally spaced circular frames can be formulated. according to reference [4]. Semi-empirical and analytical stress methods can be integrated into design procedures.

given
by N¼ Mx pR2 ð1Þ
where R is the fuselage radius. The design procedure is of iterative nature and starts with a preliminary evaluation of the load index N. Engrs Vol. Instn Mech. 2 Main components of the fuselage section
G05603 # IMechE 2004 Proc. the latter is assumed to be clamped at the rear spar bulkhead and subjected to the following design loads: longitudinal bending moment Mx . 218 Part G: J. 1 Flow diagram of the design procedure relevant to a fuselage section
reference section for design is located in the cylindrical part of the aft fuselage. Since the outer structure of the fuselage must be designed according to speciﬁc requirements which vary
Fig. Aerospace Engineering
.ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES
317
Fig. shear load Ty . and torque Mz .

At each iteration step the geometry of the panels is deﬁned. as shown in Fig. is reported. the pressure circle method. When convergence with respect to the load indices is obtained. The load coefﬁcient method has been used to evaluate the shear ﬂow distribution for the case of a single frame with constant mass load distribution along both passenger and cargo ﬂoor beams. By indicating the anomaly by the symbol W. under such hypotheses. Analytical methods used in the procedure described above allow the design of a structure that is compliant with durability and damage tolerance requirements [11.
Ty being the shear load at the section. At each of these connection areas between the frame and the ﬂoor beams. the solution is obtained by superposition of the two load–stress systems. 12]. The design codes allow the lower and the upper panels to be designed in such a way that instability phenomena under compression loads occur at an assigned value of the load factor. which relates shell stiffness to frame stiffness. a force and a bending moment are introduced into the frame while. 218 Part G: J. The loads are transferred to the frame. Of the three approaches. load indices relevant to each panel are re-evaluated and a new step of the iterative procedure is started. In Fig. the post-critical behaviour of these panels is accounted for in the case when the design instability load factor is lower than the ultimate [3.
3. according to the sketch in Fig. Engrs Vol. are designed in post-critical ﬁeld under combined compression and shear loads [2. in particular. The latter is designed to withstand mass and pressure loads and in compliance of a number of static and fatigue requirements. the load coefﬁcient method is by far the most complete and thus has been used in the design code.318
L BONI AND D FANTERIA
along the perimeter. The lateral panels. three fundamental typologies of stiffened panel are identiﬁed. along the section perimeter and to the effects of the presence of a circular frame on the radial displacement distribution of a non-stiffened cylindrical shell. upper panel. then. the shear ﬂow is given by the Jourawsky equation q¼ Ty Sx Ix ð2Þ
* Connection elements (clips) between the skin and the frames (shear ties) and between the frames and the stiffeners (stringer ties) are not included in the design procedure.e. as the result of the design procedure and of the geometrical features of the frame and of the passenger and cargo ﬂoor beams are evaluated. and then to the skin. their presence has been taken into account in some of the FEAs. Aerospace Engineering
for the shear ﬂow distribution along the section perimeter.1
Models for the structural analysis of the frame
The roughest model that can be employed to calculate the distribution of the shear ﬂow in correspondence of a frame is based on the assumption that the frame is inﬁnitely stiff in its plane and has no stiffness for out-ofplane deformations. 5. 6. however. 2). it considers that the frame distorts under load and alters the shear ﬂow distribution in the shell. and therefore more sophisticated analysis methods have been proposed in the past. 6]. and the load coefﬁcient method [1]. 4 the results obtained with the load coefﬁcient method are compared with those given by the rigid frame model [equation (3)].
G05603 # IMechE 2004
. The load coefﬁcient method is used in the optimization code to account for the mass loads in the dimensioning procedure of the frame. caused by the frame. The ﬁnal distribution of the skin shear ﬂow along the section perimeter is obtained by superposition of four load systems. at connection areas with the ﬂoor beams and with the struts supporting them (Fig. for the case when sole mass loads act on the frame. Once the geometry of the cross-section is known. and Ix the moment of inertia of the section with respect to the X axis (see Fig. 2. at each strut–frame connection area. according to the theory of the incomplete diagonal stress state. 2). Among these the following three are well established: the elastic centre method. The design of the frames takes into account the mutual skin-frame ﬂexibility and the presence of the ﬂoor beams [1. the ﬁnal geometry of the fuselage cross section is completed by dimensioning the tear strap* . the frame is characterized by an intrinsic ﬂexibility that invalidates the elementary approach just described. This second system is evaluated as a function of the relative-stiffness parameter. i. only a force is exchanged. In particular. 10]. Consequently the loads and stresses are resolved into two systems: the ﬁrst is relevant to the equilibrium stress ﬁeld obtained from applied loads by means of the elementary theory. and lateral panels. attention is focused on the distribution of the skin shear ﬂow. 10]. and the second consists of a corrective stress distribution deriving from the distortions of the frames and the skin. 3.
Proc. equation (2) gives the expression qðWÞ ¼ Ty sinðWÞ pR ð3Þ
3
ANALYTICAL MODELS AND RESULTS
In this section. and of the results achievable by using them. a critical review of the theoretical methods. lower panel. Instn Mech. In the case of a transport aircraft fuselage. Sx the static moment.

G05603 # IMechE 2004
3. Moreover. it is observed that the presence of frame ﬂexibility introduces the possibility that the shear ﬂow becomes negative in certain regions of the fuselage section. while in the crown part of the fuselage section the magnitude of the shear ﬂow is quite small (about 4 per cent of the peak value in the example shown).2
Modelling of the effects of the pressure loads
The effects of the presence of circumferential stiffening elements (frames) on the stress–strain ﬁeld induced by pressure loads Dp in a thin-walled cylinder of radius R and thickness t can be described by the classical theory [4]. 4. Instn Mech. 218 Part G: J. the location of the peak value of the shear ﬂow moves towards the region between the two ﬂoor beams. namely q4 w Nz q2 w tE Dp nNz þ À þ w¼À 4 2 2 qz DR D DR D qz ð4Þ
where Nz is the longitudinal membrane axial force ðNz ¼
Proc. Engrs Vol. resulting in the differential equation in terms of the radial displacement w. 4 Theoretical skin shear ﬂow distribution for inﬁnitely stiff and ﬂexible frame
From the results presented in Fig. 3
Load systems on the frame
Fig. the maximum value of the shear ﬂow exceeds (by more than four times in the example shown) the peak value of the sinusoidal distribution relevant to the rigid frame case.ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES
319
Fig. for the same resultant shear load. Aerospace Engineering
. thus.

resulting in an unstiffened shell of equivalent thickness teq. The general form of the solution of differential equation (4) is wðzÞ ¼ w þ
4 X i¼1
4
FINITE ELEMENT MODELS OF THE FUSELAGE BARREL
z Ai exp li
ð6Þ
where 1=li are the roots ð [ CÞ of the characteristic equation associated with equation (4) and w is the particular solution that can be derived by setting derivatives to zero in equation (4) according to n DpR2 n ¼ 1 À wm w¼À 1À 2 Et 2 ð7Þ
For the simple case of a single frame. flexible frame. solution (6) must satisfy the boundary conditions 0. .320
L BONI AND D FANTERIA
sz t ¼ RDp=2Þ and D is the bending stiffness given by D¼ Et3 12ð1 À n2 Þ ð5Þ
area along the fuselage perimeter. wjz¼0 ¼ lim ðwÞ ¼ w z?? À wf .
E being Young’s modulus of the material and n Poisson’s ratio. ? rigid frame.

dw.

dw .

¼ 0. lim ¼0 .

5). composed of 12 bays. The analysis barrel has a length of seven bays and is contained between two boundary zones: a ﬁrst zone. Since the real structure is mainly constituted by thinwalled components. and postprocessing phases. 5). Shell element number 63 has been selected [13].
4. while in the analysis region they are modelled according to the example shown in Fig. while the second zone extends for 19 bays towards the tail cone (Fig. Instn Mech. which is based on the concept of spreading the stringer section
* The case of real roots is relevant to fuselages characterized by small values of the ratio ðt=RÞ4 for typical pressurization levels (50–60 kPa). For such main zones a structured mesh is adopted with a ﬁner grid for the analysis region and a coarser grid for the boundary zones. z?? dz dz z¼0 ð8Þ In the case of four real roots* . such results have been extended to the more realistic case of a stiffened shell by using a modiﬁed equation proposed in reference [4]. The main data used for the analyses carried out to study mass loads effects are summarized in Table 1. The presence of the stringers is accounted for by means of an equivalent shell thickness. corresponding to the wing rear spar. the fuselage is assumed to have a clamped section. the same software has been used for the meshing. They refer to the outputs of the optimization code relevant to a one-g load index of 200 N/mm. Engrs Vol. between these two. an analysis region has been selected that is enclosed between two boundary zones where border effects due to loads and constraints disappear. the solution assumes the form w n 1 À wf =w ¼ 1À 1À wm 2 ðl2 À l1 Þ z z l2 exp À À l1 exp À l2 l1 ð9Þ where 1=l1 and 1=l2 are given by the relationships vﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ sﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ! u uR Dp 1 4E 2 t4 t 1þ 1À ¼ l1 4D 3ð1 À n2 Þ Dp2 R4 vﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ sﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ! u uR Dp 1 4E 2 t4 t 1À 1À ¼ l2 4D 3ð1 À n2 Þ Dp2 R4 ð10Þ For the case of multiple equally spaced frames. equation (4) yields similar results by adopting suitable boundary conditions. shell elements have been used extensively in the meshing phase together with beam elements to model stiffening members (low-resolution meshes of frames and stringers). is on the constraint side. 14]. solution.
Proc. in the boundary zones they are represented by means of beam elements. and to be subjected to constant mass load per unit length on both the upper-deck and the lower-deck ﬂoor beams [10.1
Model for mass load analyses
For these kinds of analysis. which is a four-node plane element having six degrees of freedom per node and capable of simulating bending and membrane behaviour. in the analysis region the frames and the skin are connected by using node-to-node rigid elements (CERIG) [13]. for the design of stiffened panels with hat stringers at a spacing
G05603 # IMechE 2004
. Aerospace Engineering
The geometrical model of the fuselage barrel has been built by using the parametric modelling tool included in the commercial software ANSYS 5. Moreover. As far as meshing strategies are concerned. 218 Part G: J. As far as the modelling of the frames and of the ﬂoor beams is concerned.7. transition regions exist for which it is convenient to use a free meshing approach (an example of such meshing strategy is given in Fig. 6.

To respect the symmetry and equilibrium conditions.8 56. 7). the cylindrical sector must be properly constrained and loaded at its edges: those parallel to the fuselage axis (side edges) are constrained against circumferential displacement while on the edges orthogonal to the axis (normal edges) different conditions are applied.6 1. and to mass loads equivalent to resultant section shear loads of 10 000 and 5000 N for upper-deck and lower-deck ﬂoor beams respectively. 15]. The dimensions refer to a Z geometry for the frame cross-section and an I geometry for the cross-section of both ﬂoor beams. 218 Part G:
. in order to evaluate the contributions to the stress–strain ﬁeld of the different fuselage components [10.5
2
56 16. 6 Frame meshing example
of 200 mm.5 180 60 1. All components are made of aluminium alloy 2024 with Young’s modulus equal to 72 000 MPa and Poisson’s ratio equal to 0. 5 Meshing strategies
4. Instn Mech.64
Fig. so that only a cylindrical sector has been modelled of ﬁnite extension along the longitudinal axis of the fuselage (Fig. Engrs Vol.ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES
321
Table 1 Main dimensions used for the FEAs
Value (mm) Pressure load analyses
Component Fuselage diameter Spacing of frames (bay length) Equivalent skin thickness Skin thickness Spacing of stringers Web height of hat stringers Free ﬂange width of hat stringers Connection ﬂange width of hat stringers Thickness of hat stringers Tear-strap width Tear-strap thickness Frame web height Frame ﬂange width Frame thickness Web height of upper-deck ﬂoor beam Flange width of upper-deck ﬂoor beam Thickness of upper-deck ﬂoor beam Web height of lower-deck ﬂoor beam Flange width of lower-deck ﬂoor beam Thickness of lower-deck ﬂoor beam
Mass load analyses 5640 500 3. The models have been developed using the hypothesis of cylindrical symmetry.
G05603 # IMechE 2004
Fig.5 240 156 2. 7
Fuselage sector meshing example
J. Aerospace Engineering
Proc.97 47 0.2
Models for pressure load analyses
The effects of the pressure load have been studied by means of models of increasing geometrical complexity. one is restrained against axial displacement and to the other a tensile load per
Fig.6 – 200 – – – – – – 165 36.5 1.32.

The results of the two subsets have been computed by using a geometrically non-linear ﬁnite element method (FEM) which had been previously tested against well-known theoretical results relevant to a constant thickness shell stiffened by means of equally spaced frames. for which titanium alloy is used. 8). two cases have been analysed: for the models characterized by a single central frame. a comparison of analytical versus numerical results of the shear ﬂow transfer between the skin and the frame is presented. in absence of frames). which includes the holes necessary for the crossing of the stringers and the presence of the tear strap between the skin and the frame. In the model used to study the effects of the longitudinal stringers. The sector extension in the circumferential direction has been determined so that the effect of the constraints on the side edges is almost suppressed in the central portion of the arc. where the analysis section is located. 8 Meshing example of a fuselage sector with ﬂoor beams
Proc.
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.322
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unit length is applied in order to establish the equilibrium of the structure when subjected to a pressure load. As far as the extension in the longitudinal direction is concerned. for the models with multiple frames. Main dimensions of the components are summarized in Table 1 and correspond to the output of the optimization code relevant to a pressure load of 68 000 Pa. the axial length of the sector has been selected in such a way as to allow for the effect of the frame to be suppressed at the normal edges. a number of bays in the longitudinal direction have been modelled so that the stress–strain distribution in the central bay is not affected by the boundary effects at normal edges.
5
RESULTS OF THE FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSES
Fig. 9 Circumferential control stations
In all the models the cross-section of the frames has a Z shape and the tear strap is modelled as a simple strip. The results concerning the pressure load analyses are subdivided into two parts: the ﬁrst considers the effects of the stringers while the second shows the modiﬁcations of the stress ﬁeld due to the presence of a structural element which causes the loss of axial symmetry. 9). The value of such an axial load corresponds to that given by the analytical model for the case of a circumferentially non-stiffened shell (i. as far as the mass load analyses are concerned. 218 Part G: J.
Fig. the real geometry of the frame has been accounted for. For such cases the agreement between the numerical results and the theoretical data was found to be excellent. Instn Mech. Aerospace Engineering
In this section the results relevant to the models and load conditions described in the previous section are discussed. lying on the bisector to the fuselage cylindrical portion. hat stringers have been used and the ﬂoor beam has an I cross-section. Also for this model all components are made of aluminium alloy 2024. Finally. Engrs Vol. symmetry constraints are applied to the ﬂoor beam at the longitudinal plane of symmetry of the fuselage (Fig. In particular. a model has been developed that takes into account the presence of a structural element that interrupts the axial symmetry of the fuselage section (Fig. The upper-deck ﬂoor beam has been added. except for the tear strap. Numerical results have been obtained by means of a linear FEA.e.

results relevant to the case of a single loaded frame are shown. 11. induced by the frame. predicted by FEA is in fairly good agreement with the theoretical distribution along the section perimeter. 10 Single-loaded frame: comparison between theoretical and FEM results
Fig. It is evident that the presence of loaded frames in the vicinity of the section under analysis redistributes the skin shear ﬂow. 11 FEM results: comparison of a single loaded frame and multiple loaded frames
G05603 # IMechE 2004 Proc. It can be observed that the skin shear ﬂow. it can be observed that the shear ﬂow distribution in the case of multiple loaded frames is
%
Fig. Instn Mech. where the shear ﬂow is close to zero in the previous case. As a ﬁnal remark. results in a signiﬁcant amount of shear load. Aerospace Engineering
. Both results highlight that the region above the upper-deck ﬂoor beam is relatively unloaded.ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES
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5. while the major part of the overall shear load is carried by the regions between the two ﬂoor beams. 218 Part G: J.
Results relevant to the case of multiple loaded frames are compared with the results of a single-loaded frame in Fig. so that the peak value is shifted towards the upper-deck ﬂoor beam. the zone right above the ﬂoor beam.1
Skin-frame shear ﬂow transfer: comparison of analytical and numerical results
In Fig. 10. Engrs Vol. as a consequence.

12. while in Fig. 13 the variation in the radial displacement along the section
5.2
Effects of the stringers on the stress–strain ﬁeld due to pressurization
In Fig. 12 Comparison of FEM and theory for a single. results relevant to the case of a single and inﬁnitely stiff frame inserted in a shell stiffened by
Proc. Aerospace Engineering
* The origin of the longitudinal coordinate is at the location of one of the frames.324
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Fig. 13 FEM results for a single.
longitudinal stringers are shown in terms of nondimensional radial displacement versus longitudinal non-dimensional coordinate* . the radial displacement is made non-dimensional by dividing it by wm ¼ Dp R2 =Et&3:75 mm. the reference length used to make the longitudinal coordinate non-dimensional is l2 &68:3 mm. inﬁnitely stiff frame and stiffened shell
quite similar to the distribution predicted by the elementary theory. Instn Mech.
G05603 # IMechE 2004
. Engrs Vol. 218 Part G: J. inﬁnitely stiff frame and stiffened shell
Fig.

218 Part G: J. the following observations can be made. the numerical solution tends to the theoretical value relevant to the nonstiffened shell of thickness t. 2. 3. halfway between two stringers. Instn Mech. the radial displacement is signiﬁcantly lower than the one between the stringers.ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES
325
Fig. Aerospace Engineering
. such difference disappears as the distance from the frame increases. 15 FEM results for multiple frames and stiffened shell: circumferential variation in radial displacement
G05603 # IMechE 2004 Proc.
Fig. Close to the frame. is presented. Far from the frame. About the radial displacement distribution along the longitudinal axis. Engrs Vol. causing a larger radial expansion of the stiffened shell with respect to the non-stiffened shell. as the distance from the frame increases. the presence of stringers diminishes the membrane axial stress in the skin. at the stringers location. for different sections distributed in longitudinal direction. 14 FEM results for multiple frames and stiffened shell: longitudinal variation in radial displacement
perimeter. Close to the frame.
the radial displacement approaches the asymptotical value of the theoretical distribution relevant to the solution with equivalent thickness teq. 1.

3
Perturbation of the stress–strain ﬁeld due to pressurization caused by the ﬂoor beams
Figure 16 shows the radial displacement along the longitudinal axis. 14). 15 by comparing the circumferential distribution of radial displacement at stations 1 and 4. the elementary theory provides anyway a solution that is a good starting point for further high-ﬁdelity ﬁnite-elementbased design activities. the theoretical methods can be regarded as fully satisfactory. results relevant to the case of multiple frames. so that at station 6 the value of the displacement at mid-bay between the frames
Proc.e. 9). From this point of view. Close to the frames. further
G05603 # IMechE 2004
. It is evident that the high longitudinal stiffness of the ﬂoor beam strongly modiﬁes the distribution of the radial displacement in the vicinity of the ﬂoor beam itself (station 1). Results of ﬁnite element models for pressure load analyses highlight that. relevant to the case of a stiffened shell with multiple frames and taking into account the presence of the ﬂoor beam. Although the results presented cannot be regarded as complete and exhaustive. such effect decreases rapidly as the distance of the control stations increases. 16 FEM results for multiple frames and stiffened shell with ﬂoor beams
In Figs 14 and 15. Aerospace Engineering
The results of some speciﬁc FEAs. at several stations distributed along the circumferential direction (see Fig. nevertheless. of ﬁnite stiffness.
reaches the value calculated in absence of the ﬂoor beam (see also Fig. An explanation of such behaviour can be given by realizing that the stiffness of the frame is not uniform but decreases signiﬁcantly at stringers locations due to the presence of the holes to allow for the crossing of the stringers themselves. 218 Part G: J. carried out to support the development of an integrated procedure based on analytical and semi-empirical methods. Engrs Vol. in a longitudinally stiffened shell are shown in terms of variation in the radial displacement along the longitudinal axis and along the section perimeter respectively. as far as a ﬁrst-approach design is sought.. i. the stiffened shell expands more halfway between two stringers than in correspondence to the stringers themselves. The behaviour mentioned above can be observed also in Fig. they are a ﬁrst step towards the validation of the analytical design procedure. at mid-bay between the frames the opposite is true.326
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Fig. Instn Mech.
6
CONCLUSIONS
5. FEM results demonstrate the effectiveness of the load coefﬁcient method in estimating the shear ﬂow that a single loaded ﬂexible frame introduces into the skin and highlight the importance of the interactions between stress–strain ﬁelds induced by a set of equally spaced frames subjected to typical mass load distributions on the ﬂoor beams. the radial displacement halfway between two stringers is lower than that at the stringers location (Fig. have been presented and discussed with the aim of achieving a deeper understanding of the advantages and the limitations of the analytical approach. for the design of aircraft fuselage components. nevertheless. 13 for comparison). more advanced tools are needed when dealing with detailed design of the regions in the vicinity of the stringers and of those structural elements (such as the ﬂoor beams) that invalidate the hypothesis of axial symmetry on which theoretical methods are based.

Canada.. 15 Calvetti. Analisi numeriche di strutture di fusoliera soggette a sollecitazioni di pressurizzazione. 2002. 1997. University of Pisa. An Introduction to the Theory of Aircraft Structures. Combe. Peterson. 37–52.
4 Williams.7. Analisi numeriche di strutture di fusoliera soggette a sollecitazioni di ﬂessione e taglio. A. and Ensrud. 12 Swift. D. T. F. 2 Khun. C. and a FEM solver. Hong Kong). 25. P. Sci. E. G. Italy. 1952. In Proceedings of the 14th International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue Symposium. the combined use of a three-dimensional parametric modeller. Stress intensity factor for cracked sheet with riveted and uniformly spaced stringers. F. 13 ANSYS User’s Manual. Aerospace Engineering
. 11 Poe Jr. London). April 2004. SAWE paper 2406. Canonsburg. 5 Rivello. Aeronaut. 3 Gerard. Technical Report NASA TR-R-358.
REFERENCES
1 Wignot..ANALYTICAL METHOD FOR FUSELAGE DESIGN BY MEANS OF FE ANALYSES
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investigations are planned for which the use of more reﬁned FEAs are being considered. Engrs Vol. A. Pisa. London). Final degree thesis. and Kelm. 218 Part G:
J. with enhanced submodelling and interface capabilities. 1973 (Jacobs Publishing. Version 5. Instn Mech. 8–12 June 1987. 7 Niu. M. M.. C. Theory and Analysis of Flight Structures. L. 14 Cartolano. Analysis and Design of Flight Vehicle Structure. 6 Bruhn. Damage Tolerance in Pressurized Fuselages. 1960 (Arnold. 1–77. M. C. 1958. Advanced fuselage weight estimation for the new generation of transport aircraft. J. 1944. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Airframe Structural Design. New York). PhD thesis. R. 9 Schmidt. E. the many helpful suggestions and fruitful discussions. From this point of view. 2002. M. F. Methodologies for the optimum design of fuselage structures of transport aircraft. 1969 (McGraw-Hill... J. Italy. 1997 (ANSYS Inc. R. J. 10 Boni. Indianapolis). Structures Sub-Series (ESDU International Limited.. Final degree thesis. Italy. 8 Engineering Sciences Data Units. H. L. The crippling strength of compression elements. Analysis of circular shell-supported frames. R. University of Pisa. Pisa. pp. University of Pisa. Technical Note NACA TN 2661. would be very advantageous. Pisa. USA). 1988 (Conmilit Press. A. The help given by Massimiliano Cartolano and Francesco Calvetti in carrying out the FEAs is gratefully acknowledged. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Ottawa. and Levin.. Technical Note NACA TN 929. which can manage assemblies of many components. 1971 (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). P. Lapple..
G05603
# IMechE 2004
Proc. Summary of diagonal tension.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to express their sincere appreciation to Professor Attilio Salvetti and Professor Luigi Lazzeri for the encouragement.