A blend of engineering skills are needed to replace steel and concrete with composite materials to create lighter, lower cost structures, capable of keeping logistic and installation costs to a minimum. Materials with these characteristics can unlock new application in sectors like defense and aerospace replacing structural components and pipes. Moreover, they offer the offer the opportunity to embed sensors within the layers to create smart structures.
Starting from a 3D-fabric employed in the Aerospace sector, a whole re-engineering process was performed by BlueThink:
- Structural CAD design
- Thermo-mechanical FEM simulation
- Maximum load prediction
- Thermal-induced stresses calculation
- End of life characteristics estimation
The result is an innovative composite material that can be transported in a flexible state and hardened during the installation process, achieving mechanical properties comparable to those of steel (patent US2014251638).