Case Study


Structural Health Monitoring, Manufacturing and Repair Technologies for Life Management Of Composite Fuselages

SHERLOC is an EU Funded R&D project belonging to Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, where Element Seville participates as Core-Partner. The project combines advanced Structural Health Monitoring and smart repair technologies with a probabilistic design philosophy, and hence to develop new maintenance concepts to reduce the direct operative costs without lowering the operational safety of a composite fuselage, all this applied to the structure of aircraft destined for commercial flights.

Main goals of SHERLOC project

SHERLOC aims for a Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) concept for composite fuselage enabled by Structure Health Monitoring (SHM) techniques. SHERLOC’s main focus is: sensor technology, system validation and integration, global systems and regulatory guidance. The key components of the SHERLOC SHM prototype system are: Diagnosis, Prognosis and Life Extension and Predictive Maintenance. SHERLOC will develop a SHM system based on Piezoelectric (wired and wireless), Fibre Optics, Hybrid and Magnetostrictive technologies for damage detection and repair. The system is verified and validated through the building block approach from coupons up to sub-component level.

SHERLOC pays particular attention to SHM system installation and advanced manufacturing. SHERLOC develops a novel Bayesian based Dynamic Data Driven Application System (DDDAS) that will allow the characterization of uncertainty and conditional probabilities to be determined in terms of what is known about the structure from the model and what is measured during the inspection.

Additionally, SHERLOC will impact positively the environmental effect and lead times of repairs in composite aero structures.SHERLOC project execution is planned through a time span of 7 years, beginning at the final quarter of 2015 and finishing during 2022, with a total budget of 9.294.198,00 €, and EU funding of 7.938.317,00 €

Element Seville role in SHERLOC project

Within SHERLOC project, Element Seville is mainly focused on testing activities, according to the Building Block Approach at different levels from coupon up to sub-component, including all test cycle from test plans definition, definition of load cases and NDI with the aim to check the conformity with the predefined quality standards.Furthermore, review of current maintenance requirements for structural safe-life parts maintenance strategy, NDI inspection and certification, and operative cost estimation is performed with the participation of Element Seville. An approval process is developed in order for the SHM system to be certified.

Element Seville also leads the dissemination and exploitation of results along whole SHERLOC project. 

Project web portal:

Program: European Union’s H2020 Programme for Research & Innovation, JU CLEAN SKY 2

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