SABCAD (Structural Advanced Bonding of Thick Components for Advanced Design, Sponsor: Technology Strategy Board, £2.5M). Partners: Airbus UK, Imperial College London, Univ. of Surrey, BAE systems: The aim of this project was to reduce the weight, via the use of metallic laminate structural concepts produced in light weight aluminium alloy materials, combined with composite layers to improve the fatigue properties of the laminate (Hybrid composites such as Fibre Metallic Laminates) and Maturing structural bonding process by modelling and structural test.

Our team was responsible for modelling and testing (fatigue) of metallic and fibre metallic laminates to investigate the crack initiation and growth processes.

 The generation of composite materials called the Hybrid composites show superior fatigue properties and slower crack growth in comparison to the metallic laminates. The light weight metal layers combined with fibre layers results in lower weight and consequently less fuel burn.

Main findings:

  • Buckling driven delamination
  • To consider cumulative damage model of the adhesive layer together with the metal layer
  • To add damage model for the composite layer
  • Effect of laminate lay-up, friction-stir welding