Innovation: Localised heating model for asymmetric sheet forming

Last update: 19.06.2014
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Keywords: 
fea, forming, asymmetric forming, laser processing, heat transfer modelling, laser modelling
The INMA project aims at developing an intelligent knowledge-based (KB) flexible manufacturing technology for titanium shaping that will lead to drastically reduce current aircraft development costs incurred by the fabrication of complex titanium sheet components with a minimal environmental impact. In particular, this project aims at strengthening European aircraft industry competitiveness, by transforming the current non-flexible and cost intensive forming processes into a rapid and agile manufacturing process.

This brand new technology, based on Asymmetric incremental sheet forming (AISF), will transform the way many titanium sheet aeronautical components such as after pylon fairings, fan blades, exhaust ducts or air collectors are manufactured today. The innovative, cost-efficient and ecological forming technology to shape complex geometries in titanium that will contribute to strengthen the European aircraft industry competitiveness meeting society's needs.

Currently, aircraft industry uses complicated and cost intensive forming processes to shape complex Ti sheet components, such as deep drawing, hot forming, super plastic forming (SPF) and hydroforming. In some cases parts are even obtained by hand working. These techniques show severe drawbacks which include high costs, long industrialisation phases and high energy consumption rates.
On the contrary, main features of the innovative AISF technology to be developed will be an increased flexibility, cost reduction, minimised energy consumption and a speed up in the industrialisation phase.

The major impacts of the results obtained in the INMA project will be:
- Cost incurred by dedicated tooling will be reduced by 80%
- The component lead times will decrease by 90%
- Buy-to-fly ratios will be up to 20% lower

The INMA Consortium is integrated by 2 end-users, 1 equipment provider, 4 research organisations, 3 universities and the EASN association. Participation of industrial partners who will directly exploit the project results will guarantee the impact of the project.

PROJECT GOALS:

The goals of the project are the following:

- Development of the AISF process for titanium through the generation of experimental data about adequate parameter windows, tool specifications and tool paths for cold, hot and large scale forming.
- Implement and validate numerical AISF process models that will provide reliable prediction of the forces, strains and shape deviations resulting from cold, lean heated and large scale forming.
- Characterize titanium formability limits, including the definition of specific and inexistent testing and evaluating procedures, as well as its post-forming metallurgical, mechanical and chemical properties under cold and hot AISF.
- Implement and validate an intelligent KB AISF process model that will serve to correct the forming tool path in order to compensate shape deviations appearing when no die is used.
- Develop heating procedures that will allow tackling hot AISF operations at minimum cost and energy consumption without compromising other relevant issues such as efficiency and reliability.
- Apply and validate the developed technology through the fabrication of aircraft and aeroengine realistic pilot demonstrators.
The objective is to use the model for optimisation and cost-reduction of the forming process parameters’ selection pre-fabrication. TWI’s approach combines experimental and theoretical investigation of localised heating of titanium sheets. The goal is to produce a validated numerical model with calibrated heat input, which in turn will produce a correct thermal field on the heated sheet. Several physical experimental trials are carried out where a 2mm thick Ti sheet is heated linearly (straight line) and non-linearly (circular). The temperature field on the plate is measured by thermocouples fixed in selected locations, in addition to thermal imaging (thermography).

The numerical model is developed through a series of 3D time-dependent FEA simulations, where heat is allowed to dissipate by radiation, conduction and forced convection. The laser beam is modelled by a moving heat-generation source through the plate. Modelling inputs and boundary conditions match those recorded in the experimental trials.
Following rigorous research work, TWI has produced a validated numerical model. Based on a heat input profile supplied by the process engineer, the model is able to simulate the localised heating process of a Ti sheet undergoing asymmetric forming.
The model accommodates linear and non-linear heating paths.
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Thermography During The Linear Laser Heating Process On Ti Sheets
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Innovative Manufacturing Of Complex Ti Sheet Aeronautical Components

Acronym: 
INMA

Runtime: 
01.09.2010 to 28.02.2014

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

FUNDACION TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION

Field: Scientific research and development (Spain)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Ms. PENALVA Mariluz

Website: http://www.tecnalia.com

Phone: +34-943 105 115

Contact

AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS

(France)

Contact person: Mr. PICOT Thierry

Phone: +33-561936172

Contact

EADS DEUTSCHLAND GMBH

(Germany)

Contact person: Mr. LANG Werner

Website: http://www.eads.net

Phone: +49-8960728653

Contact

EASN TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION SERVICES BVBA

(Belgium)

Contact person: Dr. PAPADOPOULOS Michael

Phone: +30-2610911547

Contact

INDUSTRIAS PUIGJANER S.A.

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. MASAGUÉ Daniel

Website: http://www.denn.es

Phone: +34-937132001

Contact

RHEINISCH-WESTFAELISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE AACHEN

(Germany)

Contact person: Prof. SCHMACHTENBERG Ernst

Website: http://www.rwth-aachen.de

Phone: +49-2418090490

Contact

THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Ms. SHAW Veronica

Website: http://www.liverpool.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1517948722

Contact

TWI LIMITED

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Ms. PARKER Lucy

Website: http://www.twi.co.uk

Phone: +44-01223899532

Contact

UNIVERSITY OF PATRAS

(Greece)

Contact person: Prof. LAMPEAS George

Website: http://www.upatras.gr

Phone: +30-2610969498

Contact

VYZKUMNY A ZKUSEBNI LETECKY USTAV A.S.

(Czech Republic)

Contact person: Ms. MAKOVSKA Pavlina

Website: http://www.vzlu.cz

Phone: +420-225115367

Contact

WYTWORNIA SPRZETU KOMUNIKACYJNEGO PZL - RZESZOW SA

(Poland)

Contact person: Mr. HALIGOWSKI Robert

Website: http://www.wskrz.com

Phone: +48-178667388

Contact