Performance and Functionality Based Design Methods for Improved and Novel Aircraft Engine Components for Additive Manufacturing

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Seppälä, J.
Rockel, D.
Hupfer, A.

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University of Texas at Austin


For aircraft engine manufacturers the technology of AM appears promising. AM provides the opportunity for a highly flexible and a cost effective part production. Furthermore AM offers new potentials and possibilities for lightweight designs. The implementation and applications of AM can be divided in three different strategic application levels. The first level includes manufacturing simple existing parts; these kinds of parts are already in production. In the second level, new design tools, such as structural optimization, are used to improve an existing part by benefiting from the new design freedom but without changing its functionality. The third level includes novel parts with new functionality. This paper presents design methods for AM parts for the second and third level: performance and solution based approach, respectively. Also the safety classification of engine parts is looked into. Step-by-step design methods are presented, accompanied by case studies that demonstrate improvement to the initial design: a light weight, topology optimized turbine guide vane (level two) and an aircraft engine casing design that has an improved tip clearance behavior under transient operating cycles (level three).


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