The aim of this research is to develop efficient boundary element techniques to assess the damage tolerance of low weight stiffened panels manufactured using new innovative and low cost techniques of High Speed Cutting (HSC), Laser Beam Welding (LBW) and Friction Stir Welding (FSW).

The dual boundary element method was extended to include crack growth in think walled assembled structures in presence of residual stresses due to welding.  The method was validated again experimental test of a large stiffened metallic panel manufactured using the aforementioned welding processes. The model included crack branching and coalescence as well as redistribution of residual stresses due to the crack growth. See the DalTon Project for more information.

Superplastic Forming Diffusion Bonded Manufacturing Process:

Research in modelling crack growth behaviour in low weight integrally-stiffened structures produced by joining several sheets in a specific pattern through Superplastic Forming Diffusion Bonding (SPF/DB) process has been a theme of research supported by Qinetiq and BAE System.  

Our models allow engineers to assess damage tolerance of SPF/DB parts in presence of surface scratch and internal flaws.