Study of conduction welded C-struts for a thermoplastic composite fuselage

Javier Paz Méndez, Antonio Raimondo, Chiara Bisagni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this research, conduction welded C-struts, part of a thermoplastic composite fuselage designed and manufactured in the framework of the Clean Sky 2 STUNNING project, are investigated. Five specimens made of two C-section profiles are manufactured and welded using conduction welding in three different configurations with variations in the direction and distance of the two welded joints. Preliminary numerical analysis using the virtual crack closure technique are conducted to obtain an initial evaluation of the specimens behavior, in preparation of the tests. Experiments are performed under quasi-static loading conditions to measure the strength of the welds. Comparisons with the preliminary numerical analyses show a good agreement in terms of the predicted maximum load, while a clear difference is observed in the initial stiffness, due to the compliance of the support structure. The numerical model is updated, leading to results that closely match the experimental behavior. For all the analyzed specimens, the separation occurs suddenly and no signs of propagation are observed. Experimental and numerical data show no relevant difference in the joint strength among the different conduction welding configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalMechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • conduction welding
  • experimental test
  • numerical analysis
  • Thermoplastic composite
  • virtual crack closure technique


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