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December 2006 edition

Online fuzzy logic control of aircraft engine tube bending moves forward

By Junghsen Lieh and Wei Jie Li

This article is an edited version of a detailed paper by Junghsen Lieh and Wei Jie Li of the mechanical and materials engineering department of Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. The full paper describes, with diagrams and results, the simulation and online fuzzy logic control of bending aircraft engine tubes.

During the last 10 years, the use of adaptive fuzzy control for industrial applications has increased. The computational requirement is simple and the system can be self-learned without prior knowledge of plant characteristics so its application to non-linear and stochastic systems, such as metal sheet and tube bending, is becoming attractive.

This makes it desirable to facilitate the development of an online self-tuning fuzzy logic machine to control tube bending.

Tube bending problems

The inherent problems of tube bending have been studied for many years. In an off-line machine, the system requires a reasonable initial angle that is obtained from material database and calculations. The bending angle is normally close to, but greater than, the desired value. Then manual adjustments are added to compensate the springback until the desired angle and tolerance are reached.

The question is how much should a tube be bent in order to compensate its springback? Although researchers have tried many methods to improve simulation models, there is no exact solution to the problem. And it is well-known that the springback angle depends on many factors. These include ....

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