Mechanical Design, Analysis, and Manufacturing of Wind Tunnel Model and Support Structure
Sammanfattning: The use of wind tunnel models for aerodynamic research is nowadays indispensable to aviation progress in the last years as aircrafts have become more complex. Wind tunnel model design and manufacturing has adopted many different processes and materials such as the use of a five-axis CNC; making this process a relatively long and expensive one. Composite materials offer a good trade-off between ease and cost of manufacturing compared to the more traditional methods, especially for in-house-built prototypes. This volume covers the different phases from design to manufacturing of a wind tunnel model for the MK18 conceptual blended wing-body UAV designed by KTH Green Raven Project students.The model is a down-scaled 1.5 meter span version with a belly-mounted two-strut support. The main structural requirements for the model are to withstand the aerodynamic loads obtained via CFD simulations. A mechanical interface for the support structure connection was designed. Carbon fiber reinforcement with an epoxy resin matrix was selected as the constituents for the airframe skins. A finite element model of the design was developed by using Abaqus to verify the overall structural behavior and stability. The manufacturing strategy of the airframe skins involved producing lightweight fiberglass molds out of CNC milled MDF male patterns and using vacuum infusion process to obtain the final carbon fiber parts. The internal structure members were manufactured out of different materials and processes from water-jet cutting of aluminum profiles to 3D-printed plastic components. The FEA study results showed that the model withstands the maximum loads with a high safety factor and a wing-tip deflection of less than 2\% of half the wingspan. The manufacturing of the molds turned out to be longer and more complicated than expected, but with overall good results. The composite skins came out with good mechanical and surface quality. The total weight of the model resulted in approximately 4.5 kg. Pressure taps were positioned and installed on the model skins. Their respective tubes routed in CAD to visualize the networking for manufacturing. This ensured proper placement to balance ease of installation with meaningful data collection.
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