1737. Computer Automated Computation of Tube Mass Properties


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R Bechdolt, K B Barr: 1737. Computer Automated Computation of Tube Mass Properties. 1986.



The Mass Properties Engineer spends considerable time during the detail design phase calculating mass properties of system’s tubing, such as tubes in a hydraulic system. Where the design is defined using computer graphics, the time element can be substantially reduced by creating programs to perform these tasks. Such programs can be very beneficial regarding aircraft configurations where tubes are abundant, numbering several thousand in the case of large transport category airplanes.
This method addresses the calculation of tube mass properties from the information obtained in the data files created by a three dimensional computer aided design (CAD) system. In general, the routine searches the CAD data files for the tube geometry, material identification, and associated hardware listing. With the material properties and the hardware weights obtained from separate files, the routine calculates the weight, c.g., and moments of inertia for the tube and any contained fluid. To operate the routine, the user only needs to provide the tube identifier, such as the tube drawing number.
This facility is a valuable tool for the calculation of system mass properties. This program eliminates the estimation errors incurred by abbreviated manual methods. It also prevents transcription errors since all data is handled exclusively by the program and results may be transferred directly to weight accounting files. Most important, however, is the amount of time that is saved by using the routine. Even compared to the current CAD assisted method it has easily reduced the weight analysis time per tube by more than tenfold.


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