NCMS Project #: 142141
Problem: Despite the numerous advantages of utilizing metal AM technology in fabricating individual structural components for a particular aircraft, the utilization of metal AM to manufacture primary structure and mission-critical parts remains scarce. The current gap is primarily due to a lack of technological standards, manufacturing know-how, and material property data due to the rapid growth of metal AM technology in recent years.
Benefit: By using advanced engineering tools and principles, the initiative demonstrates how a common approach that leverages a proven commercial certification process can improve the maintenance and sustainment of both commercial and military products.
Solution/Approach: Using the CH-47 Chinook helicopter as a surrogate, the intent of this initiative is to evaluate and transition knowledge of commercial metal AM airworthy technology and processes to additively design, develop, and certify hard to source parts for the U.S. Army aviation community. This effort will leverage modeling and simulation tools and commercial engineering best practices to determine the optimal material solutions, processes, and tools to make the overall AM process consistent, repeatable, and reliable.
Impact on Warfighter:
- Reduce costs for designing, developing, and certifying metal AM parts
- Meet military airworthiness standards
- Minimize the complexity of the supply chain with robust AM capabilities
- Decrease maintenance and sustainment costs
- Increase warfighter readiness
- U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command
- U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Aviation & Missile Center
- GE Additive
- Cost savings
- Repair turn-around time
- Reliability improvement
- Advanced/additive manufacturing