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Development and verification of microstructure, residual stress and deformation simulation capability for additive free-form direct deposition using multiple superalloys

Project description

Advanced simulations make sure it all adds up when it comes to aerospace designs

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has made the design and testing cycle much shorter, less expensive, and successful in many industries. It has also made manufacturing of complex free-form parts much easier. Additive manufacturing enables the successive application of layers of materials from a computer-aided design file in a bottom-up approach, rather than removing materials from a block in a top-down approach that requires much more post-processing. The EU-funded SUPERMODEL project will develop advanced models of the evolution of microstructural characteristics in complex metal alloys during additive manufacturing of parts for the EU aerospace industry. Combined experimental and theoretical work will improve the predictive ability of simulations, minimising defects and streamlining the verification and commercialisation of new designs.


SUPERMODEL will (1) develop a state-of-the-art microstructure evolution model for blown powder laser metal deposition processing and post-processing of multiple super alloys (including Inconel 718) that can predict grain sizes; orientation and texture; phase composition (including precipitation & particle size); and defect (pores and lack of fusion) distributions; (2) link the microstructure model to part-level (global) thermo-mechanical LMD process simulations to enable a direct coupling between continuum-scale stress-strain behaviour and the evolution of microstructural internal state variables; (3) validate the computational models through iterative, detailed and comprehensive experimental test programmes including in-line monitoring of melt pools, thermal transients, stresses and deformation; post-build, 3D scanning of part distortions; metallographic examination and CT scanning; and (4) demonstrate the predictive powder of the model on a complex part (curved substrate with angular features) incorporating two different superalloys with runtimes less than 5 days. This will be achieved through an ambitious numerical-experimental procedure leveraging design-of-experiments methodologies and iterative feedback between modelling activities and testing to develop a robust software system.

SUPERMODEL contributes to the aims of the Clean Sky Engines ITD by providing experimental data and simulation tools that will enhance the reliability of additive manufacturing technology, thereby streamlining LMD part certification and qualification, minimises experimental trial-and-error along the way. SUPERMODEL will therefore make progress towards achieving the EC goal of moving from “Modelling-for-Industry” to “Modelling-by-Industry” which means shifting effort from laboratory- and RTO-centred activities to helping industry equip itself with advanced simulation tools.


Net EU contribution
€ 739 375,00
Granta park great abington
CB21 6AL Cambridge
United Kingdom

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East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Other funding
€ 0,00