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Flexible and near-net-shape generative manufacturing chains and repair techniques for complex shaped aero engine parts

Final Report Summary - FANTASIA (Flexible and near-net-shape generative manufacturing chains and repair techniques for complex shaped aero engine parts)

The aim of FANTASIA project was to contribute towards winning global leadership for European aeronautics by developing new flexible and near-net-shape additive manufacturing chains and repair techniques using Laser metal deposition (LMD) and Direct laser forming (DLF) processes. These techniques, in combination with conventional manufacturing processes, offered the possibility to realise a breakthrough in the manufacturing of aero-engine parts.

More specifically, the project objectives were to:
1. develop a process layout for LMD and DLF to achieve the required characteristics with respect to material, part quality and economy;
2. develop heat treatment cycles before and after laser treatment to get microstructures and thermal stress fields that would meet the desired mechanical properties;
3. determine static and dynamic mechanical properties of the laser processed and heat treated samples, together with correlation of these properties with microstructure and stress fields;
4. work out, for the first time, acceptance, plus a Non-destructive test (NDT) inspection criteria for LMD and DLF processes;
5. support the process development by simulation of temperature, stress fields and microstructure formation to predict process parameters and build up strategies;
6. develop equipment for LMD and DLF processes;
7. propose new manufacturing and repair chains by combining conventional and laser based techniques.

The project successfully delivered new manufacturing and repair methods for use in 'older generation' and in future advanced performance aero-engines. In addition, it contributed to a higher level of improvement in the reduction of emissions, fuel consumption, manufacturing and repair costs, engine reliability and raw material use that could be achieved in the short, mid and long term.

The most important exploitable results of FANTASIA were:
1. procedures for repairing each of the specified materials and each part to be manufactured or repaired;
2. newly developed powders and wires;
3. acceptance and NDT inspection criteria;
4. newly developed sensors and control and monitoring software;
5. modelling software and equipment.

The dissemination activities represented a very critical part of the project work programme, since they allowed for the maximisation of its impact. The research and development and academic consortium participants were particularly involved in this project component. Relevant actions included presentations, organisations of conferences and training activities, as well as scientific publications.