FENNER, P. and WATSON, A., 2012. Finite element buckling analysis of stiffened plates with filleted junctions. Thin-Walled Structures, 59, pp. 171 - 180.
Modern aircraft wings are thin-walled structures composed of ribs, spars and stiffened panels, where the top skin is subject to compressive forces in flight that can cause buckling instability. If these panels are machined from a single billet of metal then the initial buckling performance can be significantly improved by increasing the fillet radius along the line junction between the stiffener webs and skin. Typically thin-walled structures are usually modelled with two dimensional elements. To model the stiffened panel with fillets three dimensional elements are required. For the stiffened panel selected for the analysis the paper shows that the three dimensional model shows a substantial increase in skin initiated buckling if the fillet is taken account of. A 5 mm radius leads to an increase of 34% increase in local buckling load performance for a skin portion of breath to thickness ratio of 100. The associated overall buckling load increases by 1.8%. The mass penalty for a 5 mm radius is 5.1%. To avoid local and overall buckling interaction an accurate measure of both buckling loads is very important and may have impact for designers. The three dimensional models with no fillets show very good agreement with the two dimensional models.
This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
The authors wish to thank the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Airbus U.K. for providing the financial assistance that made this work possible.