SAMULET II Project 8: Emerging Manufacturing Technologies
This project has explored several new, low TRL technologies, to understand applications in future aerospace components. The project was divided into a number of work packages, with the ultimate goal of delivering improvements to manufacturing time, and significant cost reductions. The project specifically aimed to:
• Improve the efficiency of the assembly process for the High Pressure Compressor (HPC) drum assembly. This is achieved through advanced handling and process verification to increase the component production rate.
• Deliver improvements to friction welding technology (a solid state joining process used to deliver high-integrity bonds in the manufacture of blisks, drums and shafts), to improve the weld and component life.
• Raise the TRL for advanced fixture and tooling technology in a number of key areas to a level whereby a complete documented methodology could be transferred to fixture and tooling suppliers.
• Develop the welding modelling capability for the compressor drum assembly, to predict machining distortion and post-machining residual stress for large structures.
• Develop a physics-based method for predicting tensile properties for RR1000 alloy and develop the workflow for integrating those predictions into component lifing models.
• Improve the powder inspection, analysis and control techniques applicable to powder-based processes used in additive manufacturing (AM).
• Create an automated process for grain structure assessment (GSA) to inspect components for crystallographic defects.
• Deliver a new design of permanent magnet alternator (PMA) – used to generate an electrical supply for essential systems on the engine – that can be wound automatically and assembled with minimal operator influence.