Unsettled Technology Domains in Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Concerning Safety, Airworthiness, and Certification
Report / Survey by SAE International, 12/23/2019
Additive manufacturing (AM) is currently being used to produce many certified aerospace components. However, significant advantages of AM are not exploited due to unresolved issues associated with process control, feedstock materials, surface finish, inspection, and cost. Components subject to fatigue must undergo surface finish improvements to enable inspection. This adds cost and limits the use of topology optimization. Continued development of process models is also required to enable optimization and understand the potential for defects in thin-walled and slender sections. Costs are high for powder-fed processes due to material costs, machine costs, and low deposition rates. Costs for wire-fed processes are high due to the extensive postprocess machining required. In addition, these processes are limited to low-complexity features. Incremental improvements in all of these areas are being made, but a step change could potentially be achieved by hybrid processes, which use wire feedstock to deposit the bulk of the part and powder for fine detail.
NOTE: SAE EDGE™ Research Reports are intended to identify and illuminate key issues in emerging, but still unsettled, technologies of interest to the mobility industry. The goal of SAE EDGE™ Research Reports is to stimulate discussion and work in the hope of promoting and speeding resolution of identified issues. SAE EDGE™ Research Reports are not intended to resolve the issues they identify or close any topic to further scrutiny.
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