Qualification and Full-Scale Test of the Airbus A400M Barrier Net 2011-01-2519
AmSafe®, Airbus and IABG were the first in decades to undertake
an ultimate forward load Full-Scale Test (FST) of a 9 g₁ Barrier
Net. Barrier Nets are safety-critical products used during an
emergency landing (FAR25.561/CS25.561) to protect passengers and
crew. When Airbus Military required an A400M Barrier Net they
identified requirements well beyond the "normal" and
demanded that payloads from a rigid structure to a frangible be
AmSafe uses non-liner Finite Element Analysis (FEA) technology
to analyze their nets and proposed an innovative solution for a new
Barrier Net to satisfy these very demanding requirements. Given
these new requirements, it was decided to also carry out a
Full-Scale Test (FST). This test required the expertise of IABG, a
testing facility based in Germany. The rig requirements - the
capability of asymmetric loading, with a rigid and frangible
payload and the unusual behavior of a textile test object - made
predicting the resultant load performance on the test setup and the
rig design very challenging. IABG developed a unique test setup to
perform the FST up to a maximum design load of 4.2MN.
The Barrier Net was able to achieve the demanding requirements
and better due to the innovative use of "Tear Webbing"
(AmSafe patent pending). The Tear Webbing technology was able to
share the load evenly with the aircraft attachment points. Seven
tests were performed with the test-rig performing perfectly each
time. The associated monitoring system provided load data for all
Barrier Net attachment fittings to the aircraft, as well as total
load application and distension data for the Barrier Net.
The testing confirmed that the Barrier Net could achieve all the
attributes that the FEA predicted. It also confirmed that the
limitations stipulated by Airbus for the airframe were met. This
first-of-a-kind test - undoubtedly a step forward for safety - is a
testament to all three partners that this technically challenging
project was a success.