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D-JOINTS will develop a new sizing tool based on simulation of the mechanical, thermal and electrical response of multi-material components involving joints. The approach will be developed on and demonstrated on a composite nose assembly involving innovative composite-composite and composite-metal joints with enhanced lightning strike protection. The design of the composite nose part (CNP) and of the individual joints will be achieved through the sizing tool. Key design parameters will be identified and coded in the tool. A material properties database will provide the required material information for the design of each joint. D-JOINTS is building on the consortium expertise in the design and manufacturing of dissimilar joints which has been delivered through the C-JOINTS project. The sizing software tool that will be developed in D-JOINTS will provide a standard approach to cost-efficient manufacturing of integrated composite-composite and composite-metal joints with improved lightning strike performance.


D-JOINTS will contribute to the high-level goals of the European Aviation Authority, as set up in the Flightpath 2050:

  1. Lower environmental impact of aviation through increased use of integrated low weight composite structures and joints which implies fuel consumption reduction, to be guaranteed by simpler joints with lower number of individual parts and a reduced number of fasteners used in an aircraft.

  2. Introduction of a more competitive aircraft to the market with increased flight performance (reliability, flight range, fuel consumption, maintenance schedules) and reduced time-to-market due to elimination of time-consuming design review iterations required to develop and produce joints with acceptable degree of integration. The categorisation of composite-to-composite and composite-to metal joints based on topology and function will lead to unified solutions.

  3. Weather and other hazards from the environment are precisely evaluated and risks are properly mitigated through in-situ protection of joints against lightning strike and degradation without need for insertion of heavy metallic parts in composite structures.

  4. Enhanced mobility of EU citizens as a result of cheaper flight tickets, achieved by reduction of aircraft fuel consumption rate and relevant direct operation costs. This is especially relevant for short distance flights which is the focus of the Small Air Transport (SAT) transverse activity in Clean Sky 2.