in Vol. 2 - August Issue - Year 2001
Successful Shot Peen Forming Tests for Airbus A 380 Fuselage Shells
The major requirement on peen forming, besides cost efficiency and quality, is a complete process automation and control.
EADS Airbus together with KSA Kugelstrahlzentrum Aachen, a company specializing in contract peening and automation solutions for controlled shot peening processes, have successfully conducted forming tests on laser beam welded fuselage shells.
A major challenge in aircraft design is saving weight, therefore saving fuel consumption and airlines' operating costs. EADS Airbus developed a number of novelties, i.e. new materials, new structural designs and new manufacturing processes, in order to meet these challenges. These innovations and new technologies will be incorporated in the A 380 family, Airbus 'flagship for the 21st century'.
Laser Beam welded Structures instead of Rivets
Integral structures for aircraft fuselage consist today of aluminium sheets and stringers, where innumerable rivets are needed as joints. For the first time in the aircraft industry, EADS Airbus uses laser beam welded structures instead of rivets for A 318 and A 380 fuselage shells. For this innovation to replace riveting to attach stringers, Airbus was awarded with the German National Prize for Technology Development.
One of the 'Airbus Center of Competence' for manufacturing fuselage shells is based in Nordenham in northern Germany. The shells' forming into the final contour is the last step after the laser beam welding process.
Shot Peen Forming of A 380 Fuselage Shells
KSA Kugelstrahlzentrum Aachen GmbH and Airbus conducted a joint testing program for shot peen forming A 380 fuselage shells. These tests have been finished successfully. In a tight time schedule till 2002, shot peen forming shall be certified and introduced in Nordenham for serial production.
The major requirement on peen forming, besides cost efficiency and quality, is a complete process automation and control. KSA offers both contract peening for pre-production and automation solutions for implementing KSA Controlled Shot Peening at the customers' site.