Addictive Tooling -Additive Fertigung Innovativer Toolings zur Herstellung Intelligenter Faserverbundbauteile
Aeronautic structures often are very complex in shape and design so that manufacturing these parts most times is determined by several restrictions in classical tool design as theycan not be manufactured. In consequence the tools become complex and expansive and the production of the parts results in a high percentage of waste parts or in sub-optimal design of structures and reduced effectiveness in operation.
- Investigation of the benefits for additive manufacturing technologies on innovative manufacturing equipment for complex aeronautic structural parts
- Development of optimized manufacturing for demanding complex geometries
- Reduction of realization time in CFRP parts development projects
In Addictive Tooling the consortium developed a manufacturing process for an undercut CFRP hollow structure for the EC135 rotor system and its associated tooling system in additive manufacturing. In cooperation with Airbus Group Innovation and Airbus Helicopters a new designed vacuum assisted infusion technology was the baseline for further development of intelligent, sensor-optimized toolings and robust processes.
The project KOKOS funded by the German Government via the LuFo V-2 call represented the demands and quality aspects of aircraft parts. By working together both parties expected synergies and benefits. While both projects are completely independent, KOKOS can benefit of a new tooling technology while Addicitve Tooling has the direct requirements by an end user as well as the possibility for evaluation close to industrial environment.
The Airbus Helicopter EC135 is one of the most sold helicopters and has the speciality of the innovative system of a gear less rotor system. To tilt the rotor system a complex system out of CFRP was developed. The nature of the aplication makes the part very complex with integrated undercuts that have to be manufactured in one go.
In the project laser sintering was used to produce the shell system for the molding of these components. Lightweight tooling design and integration of sensors and heating channels made a highly efficient and intelligent production process.
It was expected to generate degrees of freedom in the design of innovative toolings like cooling channels and sensor integration.
For complex parts reduction of manufacturing cost due to elimination of production steps like rough cutting and the reduction of material invest was expected.
Evaluation of additive manufacturing technologies on the market and their respective technology readiness had to be tested on their relevance for tooling for aerospace technologies.
Results at the end of the project
The EC135 part was manufactured with a printed tooling system and tested under industial-like manufacturing environment it proved that additive manufacturing technologies where economical on a very close level to each other and to state of the art technology even for INVAR molds implementation of design features where often restricted due to technical limits of the technology due to the lack of technology readines level.