Sealant is usually put between joined parts of an aircraft prior to final assembly. This paper presents an attempt to estimate the influence of sealant on assembly quality in terms of variation analysis. The modeling approach is based on simulation of two-way coupled fluid-structure interaction between fluid sealant and compliant parts. Reynolds lubrication approximation is used in the fluid dynamics problem and variational formulation of contact problem combined with static condensation is used in the structural one. An approach based on initial gap modelling is used for variation analysis.
The joining of two aircraft panels is used as a numerical test for demonstration of developed approach. Various phenomena connected with the presence of sealant are demonstrated. In particular, the difference in fasteners loosening due to sealant flow between different types of fasteners was investigated. Results of variation simulation show that presence of sealant may be considered among determining factors in the analysis of assembly quality.