Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Sustainable, cost-effective aircraft engine production

EU-funded scientists developed innovative manufacture and repair technology for the aircraft engine sector. Commercialisation of results promises to dramatically reduce costs while supporting sustainable practices.
Sustainable, cost-effective aircraft engine production
Sustainable manufacturing encompasses many factors including minimising waste – of water, of energy and of materials. Near-net-shape manufacturing is one way of increasing sustainability. It refers to processes that produce a shape very close to the desired final (net) one.

Such processes eliminate much of the finishing required as well as the waste material generated, thus significantly reducing production costs. In addition, they enable rapid design, customisation and production of complex parts from computer-aided design (CAD) models.

Generative manufacturing is another important and emerging capability based on generative computation, or the ability to produce options not actually stored in the computer but adhering to certain pre-programmed rules.

Extending generative computing to manufacturing enables drastically improved user orientation with reduced environmental impact. For example, a generative shape optimiser could be used by a customer to change a component’s shape to desired specifications. By following pre-programmed rules, the customer’s design would conform to the processes required to actually manufacture the part.

When near-net-shape manufacturing is combined with generative design, industry has powerful tools at hand for rapid customisation of complex components and their sustainable manufacture.

European scientists working on the EU-funded Fantasia project developed new manufacturing and repair methods for the aerospace industry based on cutting-edge laser processes (laser metal deposition (LMD) and direct laser forming (DLF)).

Methods and materials developed by the Fantasia team provided a real breakthrough in the manufacture and repair of high performance aero-engine parts. They provided the basis for truly sustainable manufacturing by enabling reduced fuel consumption, emissions, manufacturing and repair costs, and raw materials use while enhancing product reliability.

Overall, Fantasia technology has the potential to dramatically enhance the competitive position of European aerospace manufacturing.

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