Advanced composites are gaining ground in many areas, also in aerospace and in the wind energy sector, as they are lightweight and help to save energy. What is still missing are accurate and fast pre-production methods to optimise the durability of such large-scale composite structures. TU Delft researchers contribute to the recently launched EU funded project D-STANDART led by the Netherlands Aerospace Centre Royal NLR. The aim of the project: develop efficient methods to model the durability of large-scale composite structures of any design under realistic conditions. The researchers from Delft focus on new testing techniques and AI-powered models to characterise fatigue.
Advanced composites play a crucial role in efforts to achieve a carbon-neutral future, enabling structures that are simultaneously resistant and lightweight, and therefore energy-efficient, for example, in the aerospace and wind turbine sectors. The increased use of large composite structures raises concerns regarding their damage tolerance and durability, which is currently generally assessed using imprecise and time-consuming techniques. Structures at these scales experience extreme loads and stresses, especially when optimised to use as little material as possible. Accurate and reliable fatigue assessment is therefore necessary to ensure the long-term integrity of the light-weight structures we need for a climate-neutral and sustainable future. Hence the objective of D-STANDART is to develop fast and efficient methods to model the durability of large-scale composite structures with arbitrary lay-ups under realistic conditions (loads, environment).