Numerical and experimental investigation of aircraft panel deformations during riveting process
The longitudinal growth of small panels with longitudinal stiffeners has been investigated. The stiffeners have been fastened to the panels with rivets and it has been observed that during this operation the panels expand in the longitudinal direction. It has been observed that the growth is variable and the challenge is to control the riveting process to minimise this variability. In this investigation, the assembly of the small panels and longitudinal stiffeners has been simulated using low and high fidelity nonlinear finite element models. The models have been validated against a limited set of experimental measurements; it was found that more accurate predictions of the riveting process are achieved using high fidelity explicit finite element models. Furthermore, through a series of numerical simulations and probabilistic analyses, the manufacturing process control parameters that influence panel growth have been identified. Alternative fastening approaches were examined and it was found that longitudinal growth can be controlled by changing the design of the dies used for forming the rivets.