viernes, 18 de mayo de 2018

Additive Manufacturing to build UAVs for extreme weather conditions

Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing materials originally developed for the motorsports industry by CRP Technology in Modena, Italy, and Mooresville, North Carolina, are being used to manufacture Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly called drones.

Engineers at CRP Technology and Hexadrone, crafted a modular UAS using Laser Sintering technology and Windform composite materials. CRP Technology, CRP Group’s specialized company in advanced 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing solutions, developed the Windform family of high-performance composite materials.

Engineers implemented a rugged, waterproof design to construct Hexadrone’s first fully modular, easy-to-use UAS made for extreme weather conditions and industrial and multipurpose applications. Rapidly swappable arms and three quick release attachments make the Tundra-M extremely flexible to meet the needs of any profession, while making operational conditions easier to maintain, officials say.

Hexadrone officials asked CRP to devise the functional prototype of the Tundra-M, Hexadrone’s very first mass-produced drone: “We have engineered our drone by means of a cautious, multifaceted, and collaborative based approach with the involvement of broad-based stakeholders,” Hexadrone CEO Alexandre Labesse says. “In the course of two years of consulting, research, and development, we have gathered all the advice and customers’ testimonials useful to its design and which finally helped us in the process of devising an ideal UAV solution.”

Suitable for different flight scenarios and professional uses, the multifunctional Tundra-M boasts four quick-connect arms and three accessory connections. The body and other main parts are made of composite polyamide-based material. Carbon-filled Windform SP and Windform XT 2.0 materials are shaped into pieces using the Selective Laser Sintering 3D Printing TechnologyThe four arms supporting the body frame of the Tundra were 3D printed using Windform XT 2.0 composite material. The rest of the components were developed with the Windform SP composite material.

Understanding the limitations with traditional manufacturing technologies, the companies identified the opportunity to develop a unique UAS based on the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies. Additive Manufacturing technologies in UAS applications has presented both opportunity and challenges to engineers in the field. The ability to produce parts and components using AM technologies hold promise in both metals and plastics, whereas traditional subtractive manufacturing technologies can be restrictive in design development and material selection.

miércoles, 11 de abril de 2018

Additive Manufacturing to develop advanced fuel systems

According to Jeff Engel, COO of Reaction Systems Inc."in hypersonic flight the combustor temperature gets so high that materials can’t survive in that environment; you have to continually cool the combustor sections."

Reaction Systems is developing a fuel system to absorb that heat load from the combustor specifically, so that the final speed of the vehicle is faster. But transferring the heat to the working fluid, while providing a maximum surface area for catalysis inside the heat exchanger, is essentially impossible to achieve with conventional heat exchanger fabrication technologies.

Additive Manufacturing from Faustson Tool Corporation is enabling the heat exchange technology: Faustson’s Concept Laser M2 cusing Multilaser can build with a variety of high-performance alloys, including cobalt-chromium grades, Ti6Al4V, pure titanium and the material for Reaction Systems’ heat exchanger, Inconel 718.

viernes, 23 de marzo de 2018

3D printing of RF metamaterials using hydrogel inks

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (4 years) within the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacturing in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham.

Materials with intrinsic difference of electrical properties are highly desirable for RF metamaterials. Additively manufacture metamaterials using materials with dissimilar electrical properties will widen the spectrum of controlling the RF response of the printed structures and increase the application prospect to include various frequencies ranging from MHz to THz

The successful PhD student will work alongside a team of other PhD students and post-doctoral researchers involved in related projects. This project is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham

Additive Manufacturing to create metallic glass alloys

Researchers have now demonstrated and exposed in the paper "Additive Manufacturing of an iron-based bulk metallic glass larger than the critical casting thickness," the ability to create amorphous metal, or metallic glass, alloys using 3D Printing technology, opening the door to a variety of applications in the UAV industry, such as more efficient electric motors, better wear-resistant materials, higher strength materials, and lighter weight structures. The paper is published in the journal Applied Materials Today. The paper was co-authored by Harvey West, Timothy Horn and Christopher Rock of NC State; Lena Thorsson, Mattias Unosson and Peter Skoglund of Sindre Metals; and Evelina Vogli of Liquidmetal Coatings. The work was done with support from the National Science Foundation under grant number 1549770.

The technique works by applying a laser to a layer of metal powder, melting the powder into a solid layer that is only 20 microns thick. The "build platform" then descends 20 microns, more powder is spread onto the surface, and the process repeats itself. Because the alloy is formed a little at a time, it cools quickly - retaining its amorphous qualities. However, the end result is a solid, metallic glass object - not an object made of laminated, discrete layers of the alloy. 

lunes, 19 de marzo de 2018

Additive Manufacturing for RF Components

The Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) Weapons Development and Integration (WDI) Directorate has a program known as PRIntable Materials with Embedded Electronics (PRIME2). PRIME2 will integrate RF and electronics into Additive Manufacturing processes to reduce size, weight, and overall cost of these components and subsystems.

This program will advance the state of the art in printable electronics, and deliver a materials database, process development, modeling, and simulation of 3D-printed objects with embedded conductive elements, passive prototypes, and RF prototypes. PRIME2 will create a new fabrication capability (applied to electronics and RF technology areas), weight reduction, higher reliability, and on-demand (local and immediate) spare components in the field.

Additive Manufacturing In Aerospace: Strategic Implications

Aerospace manufacturers have used Additive Fabrication Systems since ’80s. But in the past few years, rapid advancements in Additive Fabrication Technology have led applications of the technology in the aerospace industry to proliferate.

Additive Manufacturing formerly occupied a niche role in aerospace manufacturing as a technology for prototyping. As recent developments suggest, however, Additive Technology is rapidly becoming a strategic technology that will generate revenues throughout the aerospace supply chain.

Firms that are already committed to shifting the strategic dynamics of Additive Manufacturing in Space and Defense Markets include: Airbus, Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt & Whitney.

sábado, 17 de marzo de 2018

USAF looks for RAAMs

No details as to the type or capabilities of the proposed AAM were disclosed, neither were proposed development and fielding timelines or contract values, but the AFLCMC (Air Force Life Cycle Management Center) Medium Altitude UAS Division disclosed on 7 March that it intended to award the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) a sole-source contract for the development of an MQ-9 RAAM (Reaper Air-to-Air Missile) Aviation Simulation (AVSIM) as the first step in the process of fielding such a capability.

The Reaper can currently carry up to 16 Lockheed Martin AGM-114P Hellfire missiles. It has also been cleared for the carriage of two GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs and the GBU-38 500 lb variant of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), and for mixed loads of these weapons. Now, the US Air Force (USAF) is looking to equip its General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) with an air-to-air missile (AAM) capability for the first time.

To date, the Reaper has been employed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike missions only, and the inclusion of air-to-air combat in its mission set would represent a significant expansion of its capabilities. While such an enhancement would be a first for the Reaper, the USAF has fitted short-range AAMs to UAVs previously.