Special Issue "Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Defence"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Nezih Mrad
Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia (Okanagan), Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7E, Canada
Interests: aerospace engineering; novel sensors technology; advanced materials systems; innovative manufacturing processes; advanced mechanical design; solid mechanics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The over 30-year old additive manufacturing (AM) technology has re-emerged in recent years as one of the top ten disruptive technologies of this decade and as a core component of the industry 4.0 technology ecosystem. Known also as 3D printing, additive manufacturing has had a profound impact on design and production capability and is expected to revolutionize the global manufacturing landscape. The technology that was introduced as a prototyping solution for the manufacturing sector has matured enough to produce 3D-printed engines (GE Aviation), 3D-printed fuel nozzles (CFM’s LEAP engine), a 3D-printed subscale submarine, and other applications impacting significantly the aerospace and defence sectors.

In recent years, modern additive manufacturing has grown exponentially in terms of what can be achieved. In 2016, the AM industry reached the US$5.1 billion mark and is estimated to generate US$21 billion revenue worldwide by 2020 with a 34% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) by 2022.  In the aerospace industry, there is evidence that the technology has moved from prototype to certified and expected changes in products through the use of AM will create opportunities for innovation and revenues.

Additive manufacturing faces significant challenges to its wider adoption in the industry; challenges exist in complex geometry parts printing, part qualification and certification, material and machine selection, economic advantages, health and risks, tracking parts to ensure regulatory compliance, and part size and material limitation.  These are only 7 challenges experienced by the technology. To harness the potential of this technology and enable its wider acceptance in the industry, it is of significant importance to understand the growing importance of additive manufacturing in this digital age. This Special Issue addresses the fundamental aspects of the technology and how it is changing (its impact on) the aerospace and defence landscape. In addition, it welcomes submissions (reviews or otherwise) on the broader range of topics including (a) health and safety, (b) materials, (c) design optimization, (d) modelling and simulation, (e) supply chain, (f) quality assurance and control, (g) cybersecurity, (h) and in-service support.

Prof. Dr. Nezih Mrad
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing
  • advanced processes
  • materials
  • aerospace
  • defence
  • design optimization
  • health and safety
  • materials
  • design optimization
  • modelling and simulation
  • supply chain
  • quality assurance and control
  • cybersecurity
  • in-service support

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Thermal Cycle and Ultraviolet Radiation on 3D Printed Carbon Fiber/Polyether Ether Ketone Ablator
Aerospace 2020, 7(7), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7070095 - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
The extreme heating environment during re-entry requires an efficient heat shield to protect a spacecraft. The current method of manufacturing a heat shield is labor intensive. The application of 3D printing can reduce cost and manufacturing time and improve the quality of a [...] Read more.
The extreme heating environment during re-entry requires an efficient heat shield to protect a spacecraft. The current method of manufacturing a heat shield is labor intensive. The application of 3D printing can reduce cost and manufacturing time and improve the quality of a heat shield. A 3D printed carbon fiber/polyether ether ketone (CF/PEEK) composite was proposed as a heat shield material. The aim was to develop a heat shield and the structural member as a single structure while maintaining the necessary recession resistance. Test samples were exposed to thermal cycles and ultraviolet (UV) radiation environment. Subsequently, a tensile test was performed to evaluate the effect of thermal cycle and UV radiation on the mechanical properties. The sample’s recession performance and temperature behavior were evaluated using an arc heated wind tunnel. Exposure to thermal cycle and UV radiation have limited effect on the mechanical properties, recession behavior and temperature behavior of 3D CF/PEEK. Results from the arc heating test showed an expansion of the sample surface and better recession resistance than other existing ablator materials. Overall, 3D CF/PEEK has excellent recession resistance while maintaining mechanical properties when exposed to high temperature, thermal cycle and UV radiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Defence)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Post-Processing on the Mechanical Behavior of Ti6Al4V Manufactured by Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion for General Aviation Primary Structural Applications
Aerospace 2020, 7(6), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7060075 - 05 Jun 2020
Abstract
In this work a mechanical characterization of Ti6Al4V processed by electron beam powder bed fusion additive manufacturing was carried out to investigate the viability of this technology for the manufacturing of flyable parts for general aviation aircraft. Tests were performed on different manufacturing [...] Read more.
In this work a mechanical characterization of Ti6Al4V processed by electron beam powder bed fusion additive manufacturing was carried out to investigate the viability of this technology for the manufacturing of flyable parts for general aviation aircraft. Tests were performed on different manufacturing conditions in order to investigate the effect of post processing as machining on the mechanical behavior. The study provides useful information to airframe designers and manufacturing specialists that work with this technology. The investigation confirms the low process variability and provides data to be used in the design loop of general aviation primary structural elements. The test results show a high level of repeatability indicating that the process is well controlled and reliable enough to match the airworthiness requirements. In addition, the so-called “as-built specimens”, i.e., specimens produced by the electron beam melting machine without any major post-processing, have lower mechanical performances than specimens subjected to a machining phase after the electron beam melting process. Specific primary structural elements will be designed and flight cleared, resulting from the findings presented herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Defence)
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Open AccessArticle
A Design for Qualification Framework for the Development of Additive Manufacturing Components—A Case Study from the Space Industry
Aerospace 2020, 7(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7030025 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
Additive Manufacturing (AM) provides several benefits for aerospace companies in terms of efficient and innovative product development. However, due to the general lack of AM process understanding, engineers face many uncertainties related to product qualification during the design of AM components. The aim [...] Read more.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) provides several benefits for aerospace companies in terms of efficient and innovative product development. However, due to the general lack of AM process understanding, engineers face many uncertainties related to product qualification during the design of AM components. The aim of this paper is to further the understanding of how to cope with the need to develop process understanding, while at the same time designing products that can be qualified. A qualitative action research study has been performed, using the development of an AM rocket engine turbine demonstrator as a case study. The results show that the qualification approach should be developed for the specific application, dependent on the AM knowledge within the organization. AM knowledge is not only linked to the AM process but to the complete AM process chain. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the manufacturing chain during design and to develop necessary knowledge concurrently with the product in order to define suitable requirements. The paper proposes a Design for Qualification framework, supported by six design tactics. The framework encourages proactive consideration for qualification and the capabilities of the AM process chain, as well as the continuous development of AM knowledge during product development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Defence)
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Open AccessArticle
Constraint Replacement-Based Design for Additive Manufacturing of Satellite Components: Ensuring Design Manufacturability through Tailored Test Artefacts
Aerospace 2019, 6(11), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6110124 - 16 Nov 2019
Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM) is becoming increasingly attractive for aerospace companies due to the fact of its increased ability to allow design freedom and reduce weight. Despite these benefits, AM comes with manufacturing constraints that limit design freedom and reduce the possibility of achieving [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is becoming increasingly attractive for aerospace companies due to the fact of its increased ability to allow design freedom and reduce weight. Despite these benefits, AM comes with manufacturing constraints that limit design freedom and reduce the possibility of achieving advanced geometries that can be produced in a cost-efficient manner. To exploit the design freedom offered by AM while ensuring product manufacturability, a model-based design for an additive manufacturing (DfAM) method is presented. The method is based on the premise that lessons learned from testing and prototyping activities can be systematically captured and organized to support early design activities. To enable this outcome, the DfAM method extends a representation often used in early design, a function–means model, with the introduction of a new model construct—manufacturing constraints (Cm). The method was applied to the redesign, manufacturing, and testing of a flow connector for satellite applications. The results of this application—as well as the reflections of industrial practitioners—point to the benefits of the DfAM method in establishing a systematic, cost-efficient way of challenging the general AM design guidelines found in the literature and a means to redefine and update manufacturing constraints for specific design problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Defence)
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Open AccessArticle
Hybrid Metal/Composite Lattice Structures: Design for Additive Manufacturing
Aerospace 2019, 6(6), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6060071 - 16 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper introduces a numerical tool developed for the design and optimization of axial-symmetrical hybrid composite/metal structures. It is assumed that the defined structures are produced by means of two different processes: Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) for the metallic parts and Filament Winding [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a numerical tool developed for the design and optimization of axial-symmetrical hybrid composite/metal structures. It is assumed that the defined structures are produced by means of two different processes: Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) for the metallic parts and Filament Winding (FW) for the composite parts. The defined optimization procedure involves two specific software: ANSYS and ModeFrontier. The former is dedicated to the production of the geometrical and FE models, to the structural analysis, and to the post-process, focusing on the definition of the Unit Cells for the modelling of the metal part. The latter is dedicated to the definition of the best design set and thus to the optimization flow management. The core of the developed numerical procedure is the routine based on the Ansys Parametric Design Language (APDL), which allows an automatic generation of any geometrical model defined by a generic design set. The developed procedure is able to choose the best design, in terms of structural performance, changing the lattice metallic parameters (number of unit cells and their topology) and the composite parameters (number of plies and their orientation). The introduced numerical tool has been used to design several hybrid structures configurations. These configurations have been analysed in terms of mechanical behaviour under specific boundary conditions and compared to similar conventional metal structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Defence)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Selective Laser Melting of Aluminum and Titanium Matrix Composites: Recent Progress and Potential Applications in the Aerospace Industry
Aerospace 2020, 7(6), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7060077 - 11 Jun 2020
Abstract
Selective laser melting (SLM) is a near-net-shape time- and cost-effective manufacturing technique, which can create strong and efficient components with potential applications in the aerospace industry. To meet the requirements of the growing aerospace industrial demands, lighter materials with enhanced mechanical properties are [...] Read more.
Selective laser melting (SLM) is a near-net-shape time- and cost-effective manufacturing technique, which can create strong and efficient components with potential applications in the aerospace industry. To meet the requirements of the growing aerospace industrial demands, lighter materials with enhanced mechanical properties are of the utmost need. Metal matrix composites (MMCs) are extraordinary engineering materials with tailorable properties, bilaterally benefiting from the desired properties of reinforcement and matrix constituents. Among a wide range of MMCs currently available, aluminum matrix composites (AMCs) and titanium matrix composites (TMCs) are highly potential candidates for aerospace applications owing to their outstanding strength-to-weight ratio. However, the feasibility of SLM-fabricated composites utilization in aerospace applications is still challenging. This review addresses the SLM of AMCs/TMCs by considering the processability (densification level) and microstructural evolutions as the most significant factors determining the mechanical properties of the final part. The mechanical properties of fabricated MMCs are assessed in terms of hardness, tensile/compressive strength, ductility, and wear resistance, and are compared to their monolithic states. The knowledge gained from process–microstructure–mechanical properties relationship investigations can pave the way to make the existing materials better and invent new materials compatible with growing aerospace industrial demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Defence)
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