Spirit AeroSystems has filed a patent for a stiffening element that can be reshaped to adjust the longitudinal curvature. The element includes tension and compression members, a shear member, an attachment member, and beads. A method is also described for reshaping the beads using a clamp and heat treatment. This innovation aims to provide structural reinforcement for aircraft components. GlobalData’s report on Spirit AeroSystems gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on Spirit AeroSystems, photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. Spirit AeroSystems's grant share as of September 2023 was 56%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
Reshaping beads of a stiffening element for aircraft components
A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230294814A1) describes a method for reshaping a bead of a stiffening element used for structural reinforcement in aircraft components. The method involves attaching a clamp to the bead, which includes an upper clamp member and a lower clamp member. The upper clamp member applies pressure on the stiffening element towards the lower clamp member through a plurality of resilient members. The stiffening element is then heated to a temperature above its glass transition temperature and the temperature is subsequently reduced after a specific time period.
The patent also includes various claims related to the features of the clamp. In one claim, the upper clamp member includes a contact surface with a recess that has a depth smaller than the height of the bead, while the lower clamp member includes a contact surface with a protrusion that has a height smaller than the depth of the bead. Another claim describes the opposite scenario, where the upper clamp member has a contact surface with a protrusion smaller than the depth of the bead, and the lower clamp member has a contact surface with a recess smaller than the height of the bead.
The patent further explains that the stiffening element consists of a tension and compression member, first and second shear members, an attachment member, and multiple beads. Each bead creates an out-of-plane feature that helps adjust the longitudinal curvature of the stiffening element.
In summary, the patent presents a method for reshaping a bead of a stiffening element used in aircraft components. By attaching a clamp and applying pressure, heating the stiffening element, and subsequently reducing the temperature, the bead can be reshaped to provide structural reinforcement. The patent also includes claims related to the specific features of the clamp and the composition of the stiffening element.