Key Words: Keywords: LPBF, Post-processing, Aviation, Process chain, series production

Process Chain Development for Additive Manufacturing in Aviation

Integrated process chains for the production of series components: a task which the Additive Manufacturing (AM) process Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) is confronted with. Above all, a decisive development task lies in the coordination of individual process steps. In particular, the benefits of AM, such as design freedom, can currently only be partially exploited.

For this reason, the DAP chair considers all horizontal and vertical elements of the AM process chain as well as interfaces in between: from digitalization and production networking to materials and manufacturing to post-processing and quality assurance. The goal of this research is to enable an economic and resource-efficient series production of additively manufactured components.

As part of the joint project “Additive Manufactured BLISK to Sky (AMB2S)”, an engine component production chain consisting of AM, subtractive post-processing and certification is being developed specifically for the aerospace industry. 

The AM design freedom, for example, will be used to reduce the post-processing effort by creating easy-to-machine support structures. Furthermore, component features are introduced to determine the position of the component by a 3D scan. This way, the measurement effort for subsequent steps can be reduced. In contrast to the individual consideration of the manufacturing steps, such a combined process chain view has the potential to minimize the overall use of resources in series production and to enable resource-conserving and efficient engine component manufacturing.

AM plays a particularly important role in this context in terms of the process chain’s resource efficiency: The generative design of raw parts can significantly reduce the buy-to-fly ratio and, hence, also the use of resources in raw materials and subtractive processing.

The project is funded by the BMWI.

Steffen Hermsen

Steffen Hermsen, M. Sc.

RWTH Aachen Chair
Digital Additive Production DAP
Campus-Boulevard 73
52074 Aachen