Saving Weight with Metallic Lattice Structures: Design Challenges with a Real-World Example

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Kantareddy, S.N.R.
Roh, B.M.
Simpson, T.W.
Joshi, S.
Dickman, C.
Lehtihet, E.A.

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University of Texas at Austin


Lattice structures are structurally efficient yet complex designs that enable high stiffness and reduce weight. While lattice structures are traditionally difficult to manufacture in metal with conventional fabrication processes, AM is a viable solution to manufacture such complex geometries to achieve lightweight designs. However, there is relatively little information available in the literature about designing large-scale lattice structures, particularly concerning computer-aided design tools, structural analysis, and post-processing for functional metallic components. In this study, we investigate and discuss these aspects in the context of a real-world problem for an oil and gas application. The lattice structure is designed and fabricated with IN 718 powder using an EOS M280 laser-based powder bed fusion system. A weight reduction of 42.4% is achieved while obtaining the desired mechanical performance. Results and challenges, particularly with the design workflow, are discussed along with future research directions.


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