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Cost Effective Reinforcement of Fastener Areas in Composites (CERFAC)
Start date: Oct 1, 2010, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"CERFAC’s major challenge is the design and manufacturing of strong and cost-efficient joints for high performance CFRP aero-structures.In particular, transfer of distributed loading along rivets lines in the assembly of flat or curved thin-walled stiffened panels, and introduction of concentrated loads for connecting lugs with thicker laminates are special & frequent problems. Hence, CERFAC focuses on applications with significant volume and occurrence (butt straps & splices, orbital and longitudinal multi-functional joints, single and multiple bolts attachments), such that an increase of the strength to cost ratio of joints could lead to overall significant cost and weight savings.In this frame, CERFAC’s high level objectives are• To increase the strength to cost ratio and damage tolerance of fastener areas in CFRP structures without weight, thickness and stiffness penalty• To reduce the number or fasteners (10 to 100% reduction), the local thickening of fastener areas and minimize the manufacturing & assembly costs (20% reduction).This will be achieved thanks to advanced and rigorous research & development activities with the following major deliverables and outputs:• A catalogue of validated reinforcement solutions at the locus of fastener holes or edges leading to lighter, stronger and more damage tolerant designs.• Innovative and efficient joining concepts combining some of the investigated reinforcement solutions. This contribution would then help reducing further the number of fasteners, while increasing the load bearing capacity and damage tolerance of the assembly, with a significant step towards a reduced manufacturing cost. Repair and disassembly will be considered as mandatory requirements in this second contribution.• Upgraded design, analysis and testing methodologies as well as pragmatic guidelines for future exploitation of the new concepts in the next generation aircrafts."
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