FEA of Aircraft Primary Structure using NASTRAN & PATRAN

This is a 3 month program where the students are trained on the tools Msc Nastran and Patran with specific application to aircraft structures. Knowledge about the basics of FEA is provided with this course!

  • Domain : CAE
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A Quick Overview

This course covers a range of topics, all aimed at structural designers and engineers who are moving into the area of Structural Stress analysis / Finite Element Analysis within the Aero domain through the widely used and popular FEA package PATRAN & NASTRAN. This course includes:

  • Intro to Aero Structures, Loads and Load paths
  • Finite Element Analysis - Theory, Assumptions & Idealisation
  • FEA using PATRAN & NASTRAN 
  • Linear Static Analysis
  • Non-linear Static Analysis
  • Buckling Analysis
  • Dynamic Analysis including Transient response analysis & frequency response analysis

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COURSE SYLLABUS

1Introduction to Aerostructures

• Introduction to Aircraft 
• Fundamentals of Aircraft primary structures 
• General Design and Construction, Load paths and functionalities 

2FEA Theory and its Background - Fundamentals of FEA

• Introduction to FEM/FEA basic theory
• Applications of FEM/FEA to Aerospace, FE assumptions and idealisations of an aircraft structure. 

3Introduction to PATRAN (Pre & Post Processor)

• Intro to PATRAN (pre & post processor) - GUI, File formats, Model Import, Set-up, Units, Preferences (30 mins)
• PATRAN - Geometric Modelling

  • Creation of simple geometries - 2D (lines, Curves and Surfaces) 
  • Creation of simple geometries - 3d (Solids)
  • Mid-surface extraction from solids

4GEOMETRY Modelling

• PATRAN - Geometric Modelling

  • Geometry clean-up to prepare for meshing.

 

• Intro to Meshing in PATRAN - Discussion on types of Elements / Element library 
• PATRAN - Meshing 

  • 2D mesh - Iso Mesh vs Paver mesh

5Meshing

• PATRAN - Meshing

  • 3D mesh - Tet mesh, Hex Mesh. 
  • Element quality checks and criteria. 
  • Modelling of attachments (Fasteners, Weld) using MPC elements 

6Materials, Loads, and Boundary Conditions

• PATRAN 

  • Materials, properties & Material library
  • Loads / Load cases
  • Boundary conditions
  • Analysis set-up to run the model
  • Analysis parameters needed, options to select.

 

7Introduction to NASTRAN (Solver)

• NASTRAN

  • Intro to NASTRAN Input and Output file structure
  • Intro to different types of analysis supported by NASTRAN
  • Detailed look into NASTRAN Cards (Command lines); understanding their formats and usage/applicability

8Post-processing

• PATRAN - Post-processing

  • Import of results into PATRAN, stress plots, constraint forces and Free body diagrams
  • NASTRAN PARAM Commands

9Linear Static and Non-linear static

• NASTRAN

  • Linear FE analysis vs Nonlinear analysis Theory 
    Linear static and Non-linear static analysis with Demonstration

10Buckling

• NASTRAN

  • Buckling theory 
  • Column Buckling and Plate buckling.
  • Linear buckling analysis FEA Demonstration 

11Vibrations & Dynamics

• NASTRAN

  • Intro to Vibration/ Dynamics
  • Modal analysis, Forced vibrations theory.
  • FE Demonstration - Free-Free modal analysis and simple Forced vibration problems.

12FEM_Overview

• PATRAN and NASTRAN

  • FEM/ FEA Best practices 
  • Interview Q&A. 
  • FE results to stress analysis 


Projects Overview

Project 1

Highlights

Tension Fitting model created to be assigned material properties, creation of load cards and load cases. Boundary conditions assigned. Review of the complete model. Model to be run and output files generated.

  1. Completed Finite Element model (with mesh, Loads & Boundary conditions) without any errors.
  2. Generated BDF file for the Finite Element model.
  3. F06 and Op2 files after the BDF is run using the solver.
  4. Report files (.txt files) extracted from PATRAN containing Element stress output for the model.

Project 2

Highlights

The second project of the course requires the student to analyse an aircraft wing box model. The geometry is to be cleaned up and meshed. The model is supposed to be analysed for stresses, displacements, constraint forces and natural mode shapes. The students are supposed to submit the post processed result in a report. 

  • Completed Finite Element model (with mesh, Loads & Boundary conditions) without any errors.
  • Generated BDF file for the Finite Element model.
  • F06 and Op2 files after the BDF is run using the solver.
  • Report files (.txt files) extracted from PATRAN containing Element stress output for wingbox skin panel elements.
  • They have to then copy the element stresses from the txt files to an excel sheet, format it and calculate Reserve Factors (RF's) for the skin elements by using the element stresses copied and comparing it against its material allowable (use Yield stress allowable for Tensile stress and shear strength allowable for shear stresses).

 


What will the student gain from your course?


  • Excellent understanding of aircraft structures. In-depth understanding of PATRAN – pre & post processor and NASTRAN - Solver with their applications oriented towards the aircraft industry and aero structures. Stress Analysis of Aero structures using FEA.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1Who can take your course?

 Graduate and Post Graduate Aeronautical or Mechanical Engineering students; students starting from their Second year to Final Year.
 Graduate engineers who are at the start of their career in CAE (FEM/FEA) and/or someone who is willing to switch their domain from Mechanical or Automobile to Aerospace.
 Also, this course would be useful to someone who is willing to make a career move from Design (CAD) to Analysis (CAE).

2What is included in your course?

 Overview of aircraft structures and their functionalities
 FEA Theory including modelling philosophies of Aero structures using FEM & Industry best practices
 FEA practical Hands-on using FE package PATRAN & NASTRAN

  • Geometric modelling – 1D, 2D & 3D
  • Meshing – 1D, 2D & 3D
  • Creation of Material properties, Loads & BC’s
  • Linear Static – Theory and Examples
  • Non-linear static Analysis – Theory and Examples
  • Dynamic Analysis – Theory and Examples
  •  Buckling Analysis – Theory and Examples

3What will the student gain from your course?

 Excellent understanding of aircraft structures.
 In-depth understanding of PATRAN – pre & post processor and NASTRAN - Solver with their applications oriented towards the aircraft industry and aero structures.
 Stress Analysis of Aero structures using FEA.

4What all major Aerospace companies use PATRAN & NASTRAN?

 Almost all major Aerospace companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Collins Aerospace (United Technologies), JAMCO, Safran, Zodiac, BAE, Mirus, Bombardier & GE etc.

5How is this course going to help someone in their job application or interview?

How is this course going to help someone in their job application or interview?

6What is the ratio of theory to hands-on practical content?

 Course is 50% Theory and 50% Practical with plenty of in-class demonstrated examples, with challenges at the end of each class and with final project end of the course.


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Certification

  • Top 5% of the class will get a merit certificate
  • Course completion certificates will be provided to all students
  • Build a professional portfolio
  • Automatically link your technical projects
  • E-verified profile that can be shared on LinkedIn

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