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Dr Xuesen Zeng

TOPIC: Modelling enabled low cost composites manufacturing and design for aerospace

Presented by: Dr Xuesen Zeng, Senior Research Fellow & Centre Manager, Centre for Future Materials, University of Southern Queensland


Out-of-autoclave manufacturing processes still face a number of challenges for aerospace applications. Computer modelling offers great opportunity to enable the smarter tooling for composite production. This presentation will cover the modelling developments, in collaborations with the leading aerospace companies.
In liquid composites moulding process, for example, for manufacturing aircraft engine nose cone, the forming process starts with flat layers of dry fabric. To predict the accurate flow pattern and fill time for the nose cone, the precise permeability data are needed for various regions of the component. This case study is set out to numerically predict and validate the permeability tensors for two real fabric lay-up systems.
The composite nacelle structures, using out-of-autoclave vacuum assisted resin infusion, aim to achieve high quality parts while at much lower energy consumption and cost, in comparison with the prepreg autoclave technology. The study investigates a sub-component of nacelle fan cowl with Xsensor pressure imaging system. The finite element modelling approach predicts the bending performance due to the quality variations.
To improve fuel efficiency through weight reduction, the optimisation framework with genetic algorithms is established on designing novel 3D multiaxial composite reinforcements. The developed approach was applied to a case study on composites landing gear brace. The optimised composites material has 80% weight saving potential.

Key words: process modelling, resin infusion, optimisation

Presenter’s resume

Dr Xuesen Zeng is Senior Research Fellow and Centre Manager at USQ’s Centre for Future Materials (CFM). Dr Zeng joined USQ in Feb 2017, after 10 years’ composites research at the University of Nottingham, UK. His research focus is on low-cost and sustainable composite manufacturing processes, including advanced dry preforms, resin transfer moulding, vacuum assisted resin infusion and automated dry tape laying process.

Dr Zeng has extensively applied finite element methods for the mechanical, fluid dynamics and thermal analyses in composite process modelling. The established modelling approaches have been successful in investigating the correlation of process-induced defects and structural performance, forming, permeability and its variability, void formation, composite material optimisation, and composite structural shape distortion. Dr Zeng pioneered ‘organic textile design’ optimization modelling leading to the radical advancement in structural optimization and process development technologies. Xuesen has run collaborative research with Airbus, Rolls Royce and SAFRAN Nacelles. Dr Zeng has been awarded $1.6M total in research grants, from a variety of UK government funding bodies as well as industry and has over 40 publications.