Composites analysis

Case Study

Composite Radomes

W & J Tod Ltd have been involved with fibre composites since 1948 and have a worldwide reputation for design and manufacture of large sonar acoustic enclosures for ships and submarines. LUSAS Composite was used to analyse high technology composite solutions for uses in Marine, Civil, Aerospace, Defence and Mass Transport applications.

One such application was a 3.7 metre diameter radome to suit a ship borne antenna. The radome, when mounted on a ship superstructure, is subjected to shock loadings greater than 15g as per MIL-S-901 and wind speeds in excess of 100 knots. The design specifications require the radome mass to be kept to a minimum, the deflection from the above combined loadings to be 50mm or less and all natural frequencies to be greater than 60 Hz.

The proposed construction comprises 29mm Nomex Aeroweb Honeycomb core clad both sides with 1mm skins of biaxial glass cloth (with 0 & 90 degree fibres) laid in an epoxy resin matrix, determined as much by the electrical performance requirements as by the mechanical loadings. 

Composite radome

The model was constructed in semi-loof elements and a composite data set was used to specify the material properties and lay up. The model was fixed at the bottom edge and symmetric constraints were applied to the vertical plane edge. Several loadcases were run to evaluate the effects of vertical and inclined plane shock loadings, the natural frequency, and wind loadings as determined by Tod's own in-house software.

Other applications

LUSAS Composite has also been used for several other composite application projects at Tod's including:

  • architectural domes for mosques
  • helicopter radomes
  • 2 metre diameter butterfly valves for the power industry
  • lightweight turbine blades 
  • composite pulley wheels

Composite pulley wheel


Other LUSAS Composite case studies:


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