R&D project to develop a digital tool to help design structures at the edge of stability

The context

Faced with increasingly demanding weight-saving objectives, the traditional aeronautical structures composed of beams and cables are being re-invented thanks to an optimisation of their stability and load paths.

Through applications such as next-generation cargo airships, space exploration robots, or intelligent structures allowing wing morphing; tensegrity principles demonstrate their efficiency in the design of high-performance structures.

In this context, the understanding and digital mastery of stability is at the forefront. Since 2018, Expleo has been developing a digital tool to help design structures that are at the edge of stability.

NG structure

The project

As part of the Flying Whales project, Expleo has developed a fast numerical aiming at solving the stability issue commonly present in the typology of these structures which have a high number of links with variable degrees of freedom. Expleo automates the global analytical calculation of stability and the writing of the data set, in order to fluidify the calculation loops. This solution enables the optimised conception of structures capable of evolving over time.

Expleo’s expertise in action

  • Numerical simulation
  • Digital twin
  • 3D CAD printing
  • Fast prototyping by additive manufacturing

What’s next?

The success of the project will rely on the optimisation of the assembly and disassembly phases. The next step will consist in understanding each step of the material’s life cycle, with the objective of better supporting the design of dynamic structures. Investigating the flexibility and distortion of these structures are also key objectives. NG Structure aims to support the development of exploration robots, wing morphing and all other intelligent structures in their transformation.

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