Commercial application of aluminum honeycomb and foam in load bearing tubular structures
Author(s)Bartolucci, Stefano, 1976-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
Lorna J. Gibson.
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Small dimension engineering tubular structures subjected to a complex load system are designed like hollow circular shells. For minimum weight design, the ratio between the shell radius and the thickness has to be as large as possible, but its maximum value is limited by the onset of local buckling. Tubular natural structures subjected to a complex load system have often an outer shell of solid material supported by a low density, compliant core, which makes them more resistant to local buckling. Biomimicking of natural constructions offer the potential to improve the design of small diameter tubular engineering structures. Here, the fabrication technology of biomimicked engineering tubular structures integrating aluminum foam or honeycomb as core material is discussed. A viability analysis is presented including technical performance, cost, utility, and risk assessments. Aluminum compliant core shells have potential for substituting CFRP and aluminum tubular structures in aerospace and high-level sport applications. The case of sailboat masts was considered in detail. Results of our analysis proved that use of honeycomb as core material can lead to a significant reduction of the mast weight. Business opportunities based on this application are discussed.
Thesis (M. Eng.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, 2004.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.