In the pioneering days of aviation, mechanical structures such as aircraft fuselages and wings were made from natural materials, for example wood. In the decades that followed, metals such as titanium, aluminum or a wide variety of alloys were used almost exclusively, increasing the stiffness/toughness-to-weight ratio.
With today's growing awareness of the impact of emissions on the environment, new material and design approaches, offering better performance at lower weight are constantly being developed and introduced. Being lighter, thus increasing efficiency, is now an important issue not only for aircraft, but for everything that moves, such as wind turbines, cars, trains, sporting equipment.
The new lightweight structures place completely new requirements on structural integrity testing – both in simulation as well as physical testing. Assessing characteristics of materials, which often show a large scatter and more complex geometries is still a new playground for test engineers.
Are you interested to learn more about lightweight structures and how to cope with them? Explore our HBK Expert Dialog 'Mechanical Structures on a Diet' and dive into the new approaches and technologies and the impact of lightweight structures on our daily lives, and learn how to perform mechanical testing.