High speed projectile impacts of fuel tanks can cause catastrophic failure. The complex fluid structure interactions produce structural behaviour that is often difficult to predict. This particular event was highlighted following the accident involving the Air France Concorde in July 2000. In this incident, accident investigations suggested that during the impact, penetration of the projectile didn’t occur, however, vibration of the skin coupled with excessive hydraulic pressure caused the tank to rupture outwards. The work reported details experimental and numerical analysis of a metallic rectangular fuel tank impacted by a high speed projectile, representative of the Concorde accident. The experiments were performed by Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), in which the fuel tank was impacted at various projectile speeds. Numerical modelling of the experiments was undertaken, in which full fluid structure interaction was incorporated. Comparisons are made between measured and numerical accelerations at several points on the tank. The numerical results were consistent with the experiment, showing that the numerical modelling methodology was both valid and accurate.

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