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Using Demonstrator Hardware to Develop a Future Qualification Logic for Additive Manufacturing Parts
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Humans and technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3086-9140
GKN Aerospace Engine Systems, Trollhättan, Sweden.
GKN Aerospace Engine Systems, Trollhättan, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2019, International Astronautical Federation, 2019, article id IAC-19-C2.5.11Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Qualification of components and processes is crucial for implementing additive manufacturing (AM) as part of a company’s manufacturing process portfolio. Currently, extensive research is ongoing in industry and academia to understand the capabilities and limitations of AM in order to enable qualification. For critical structural components, understanding the impact of the AM process and material on mechanical properties is essential. While an overall logic for qualification of AM parts is sought for, the complexity of these multidisciplinary end-to-end manufacturing processes requires comprehensive knowledge to be built in the pursuit of such a logic. As part of this work, GKN Aerospace is using demonstrator hardware to mature the AM process.

While early expectations on AM often considered it as a universal manufacturing process, the hype has now subdued and it is generally accepted that AM is not suitable for all products. However, in the cases where AM is a good match, it has potential for cost and lead time reduction, while maintaining performance and reliability. GKN has identified liquid rocket engine turbines with highly loaded parts, complex designs, and that are manufactured in low volumes, as a perfect fit for AM. Currently, GKN is designing a new ultra-low-cost turbine demonstrator relying on three objectives; (1) low number of components, suppliers and processes, (2) robust design, and (3) efficient manufacturing. The fully laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) manufactured turbine demonstrator scheduled for engine test in 2020, is an important step in the GKN AM technology demonstration for highly loaded aerospace parts. The verification and demonstration of the AM turbine rests on three pillars; (i) material data, (ii) analysis, and (iii) hardware. Analytical verification using AM material data is the foundation in the verification of the AM turbine. To support this, material testing is an important part of verifying the AM material, as is component testing to check design margins in relation to prediction. Additional testing includes traveler specimens or structures built simultaneously as the full part. Non-destructive inspection of components and travelers verify material quality, and destructive inspections validate the results from non-destructive inspections.

This paper presents the use of this verification approach on a LPBF turbine, where correlation of material data, component testing and inspection to analyses are discussed. Furthermore, conclusions are drawn on future needs for the development of a qualification logic for serial production AM hardware.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Astronautical Federation, 2019. article id IAC-19-C2.5.11
Keywords [en]
Additive manufacturing, rocket engine turbine, demonstrator, verification, qualification approach
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76690Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85079158676OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76690DiVA, id: diva2:1369932
Conference
70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC-19), Washington D.C., United States, 21-25 October, 2019
Funder
Swedish National Space BoardEuropean Regional Development Fund (ERDF)Available from: 2019-11-13 Created: 2019-11-13 Last updated: 2023-06-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Qualification Aspects in Design for Additive Manufacturing: A Study in the Space Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Qualification Aspects in Design for Additive Manufacturing: A Study in the Space Industry
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this research is to further the understanding of implications for product development and qualification when introducing additive manufacturing (AM) in the context of the space industry. Increased availability of AM machines and alluring potentials such as design freedom and cost-efficient product development and manufacturing has led to a rapid growth in the use of AM. However, the implementation of AM is hampered by lack of process understanding, implying uncertainties for engineers on how to design products for AM. Furthermore, the AM process chain (including e.g. post-processes) is not sufficiently developed and understood, adding further uncertainties. These uncertainties are a challenge when developing products for space applications, especially if they are critical for mission success and hence not allowed to fail. Such products and their manufacturing processes have to comply with strict requirements on verifying performance, quality, and reliability, i.e. product and process qualification. The purpose of this research is to investigate how qualification is addressed during product development in the space industry in order to find improved ways for engineers to explore the capabilities of AM to better understand its possibilities and limitations.

 

The research is specifically focused on the use of powder bed fusion processes by companies developing and manufacturing sub-system components for space applications. It is limited to the manufacturing of components on Earth for use in space. The research approach is qualitative. Five studies provide the empirical foundation for the thesis, in which a total of four companies are included. In particular, one of the companies is studied in-depth, including a development project for a critical AM product. Individual interviews, workshops and focus groups are used for data collection. Furthermore, the in-depth study is based on a longitudinal presence at the company, providing the opportunity to gather data from project meetings and discussions. Collaborative action research with three of the companies provides a research setting to study the development of three AM products (of which the in-depth study is one) and how uncertainties related to the AM process can be addressed.

 

Four aspects of how to address product qualification in Design for AM are deduced: (i) AM knowledge should be built through application-driven development processes, (ii) qualification should be accounted for early and to a larger extent, (iii) suitable and acceptable requirements should be defined through collaboration, and (iv) rapid manufacturing should be utilised to evaluate critical uncertainties. To support engineering teams on how to address these aspects, this thesis presents two contributions to the design field. The first is a design process utilising AM Design Artefacts (AMDAs) to identify, test and evaluate the AM-related uncertainties that are most pressing for a product. Through the iterative use of AMDAs, products designs are successively evolved, enabling a design which meets process capabilities and fulfils product requirements. The AMDA design process is part of the second contribution, a Design for Qualification framework that encourages a qualification-driven development approach for AM products. The framework includes six design tactics that provide guidance for its implementation. The tactics encourage an application-driven development process where qualification is considered early, and where successive steps are taken towards a thorough AM process chain understanding. The framework is designed based on the studied cases, and future research should focus on developing the framework and tactics further to facilitate implementation and wider applicability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå University of Technology, 2020
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
Additive Manufacturing, Design for Additive Manufacturing, Qualification, Design for Qualification, Space Industry
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77472 (URN)978-91-7790-520-2 (ISBN)978-91-7790-521-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-03-17, A109, Luleå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Rymd för innovation och tillväxt (RIT)Radical Innovation and Qualification using Additive Manufacturing (RIQAM)
Funder
Swedish National Space BoardEuropean Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Available from: 2020-01-22 Created: 2020-01-21 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved

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