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Hybrid Finite Element Analysis of Expansion Joints for Piping Systems in Aircraft Engine External Configurations and Nuclear Power Plants

Authors: Dong Wook Lee


This paper presents a method to analyze the stiffness of the expansion joint with structural support using a hybrid method combining computational and analytical methods. Many expansion joints found in tubes and ducts of mechanical structures are designed to absorb thermal expansion mismatch between their structural members and deal with misalignments introduced from the assembly/manufacturing processes. One of the important design perspectives is the system’s vibrational characteristics. We calculate the stiffness as a characterization parameter for structural joint systems using a combined Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and an analytical method. We apply the methods to two sample applications: external configurations of aircraft engines and nuclear power plant structures.

Keywords: Expansion joint, expansion joint stiffness, Finite Element Analysis, FEA, nuclear power plants, aircraft engine external configurations.

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