15:00 Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Understanding the Desired Structural Characteristics of a Kitesurf Board

This work demonstrates how to use Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Optimisation techniques on composite components in structural environments and discusses the impact that this has on the design process. To do this, the desired structural performance must first be understood. Using Kitesurfing boards aimed at different styles of riders as an example, this study establishes the desired structural characteristics of such components, through static bending and torsion tests, as well as dynamic natural frequency tests using a Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer. These structural characteristics are then designed into boards so that they have these characteristics by applying established contemporary techniques from the Automotive and the Aerospace industries. This design methodology results in better products reaching the market quicker rather than using the traditional iterative approach that many SMEs still rely upon. This paradigm shift in the design process has been made possible by advances in hardware and software as well as the introduction of other resources that are available, such as cloud computing. This means that a design process that traditionally has only been available to industries that have significant resources available to them, is available to, and should be used by, any manufacturer that wishes to be successful producing structural composite components.

Kelvin Lake, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)