Usage of Additive Manufacturing and Topology Optimization Process for Weight Reduction Studies in the Aviation Industry
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The Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology is a disruptive and novel technique that changes the paradigm of manufacturing methodology. It is based on the principle of having 3D parts by adding simple 2D layers on and on. Before AM was implemented, the conventional subtractive and chip-away techniques such as milling and turning processes had been used widely in the aviation industry. The mentioned conventional methods are still in use. However, it is observed that AM replacing legacy methods, especially for the complex and relatively heavy parts. Thanks to mutual-usage of the Topology Optimization (TO) techniques and AM, many weight reduction studies have been done successfully. The weight reduction studies have an impact on the Direct Operational Cost (DOC) of the aircraft. With the benefit of weight reduction studies, many airliner companies have the opportunity for carrying more payloads with the same type of commercial-passenger aircraft. Also, the TO and weight reduction studies are beneficial for lowering the carbon footprint. Obviously, the weight reduction, the DOC, and the carbon emission are interrelated with each other. In this paper, a research was carried out for a generic engine mount that is specifically used by famous aircraft types. Eventually, it was found that, with the help of AM, TO and material optimization studies it is possible to save weight on the engine mount.
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