Identifying Sources of Variation in Horizontal Stabilizer Assembly Induced by Rib Using Finite-Element Analysis and Full Factorial Design Method

This paper proposes a method to identify sources of variation in the assembly of a horizontal stabilizer using finite-element analysis (FEA) and the full factorial design (FFD) method. The horizontal stabilizer is mainly assembled with edges and ribs. The ribs are the typical thin-walled deformable aluminum components used in a horizontal stabilizer. Residual stress, machining distortion, and other stochastic variables result in the distortion of the ribs. Part-to-part assembly of these compliant components regularly causes difficulties associated with dimensional variations. The FEA and FFD methods are used to analyze the deviation induced by the ribs. The FEA variation analysis is utilized in a case study of the assembly of a horizontal stabilizer system and good performance is obtained. The results show that the precision of the rib bears directly upon the whole geometrical precision of the trailing edge and provide a quantitative evaluation of the rib’s distortion affecting the trailing edge. This study will enhance the understanding of the deformation of compliant components during assembly and help systematically improve the efficiency of precision control in the assembly of civil aircraft.


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  • Accession Number: 01526172
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 25 2014 3:01PM