Partners: Aernnova Engineering Solutions Ibérica S.A.

Funding Organisation: Madrid Regional Government (IMADE) and Aernnova Engineering Solutions Ibérica S.A.
Industrial Sector: Aerospace
Region: Madrid (Spain) 
Project Period: 2009 – 2010
Principal Investigator: Dr. Javier Segurado (javier.segurado@imdea.org)

It is well known that the presence of gaps in the joints between aircraft sub-structures (i.e. horizontal stabiliser and elevator) reduces the aerodynamic behaviour of the aircraft. A smart approach to solve this problem, and possibly also to improve the structural and aeroelastic characteristics, is the use of a morphing material specifically designed for this particular application. The special requirements for this kind of materials will be flexibility, lightness and capacity of withstanding high deformations, especially uniaxial (Poisson´s ratio closed to zero). Additionally, these materials need to endure fatigue resulting from the high number of deformation cycles along their life-cycle, as well as to have acceptable thermal stability without penalising the weight of the structure.

IMDEA Materials’ contribution to the project will be to search and select the optimum material which meets the specified requirements and possibly, in the short term, to fabricate the insert to fill the gaps of the joints between the sub-structures in order to improve the aircraft performance in terms of aerodynamic and structural efficiency.

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