The objective is to develop the manufacturing processes identified in the call for components specified by aerospace companies both in China and in the EU. The manufacturing processes to be further developed are:

  • (i) Additive manufacturing (AM);
  • (ii) Near Net Shape Hot Isostatic Pressing (NNSHIPping) 
  • (iii) Investment Casting of Ti alloys

The end-users have specified the properties and provided computer-aided design, (CAD) files of components and these will be manufactured using one or more of the three technologies.

During the research programme, experiments will be carried out aimed at optimising the process routes, using process modelling to guide developments. Components manufactured during development of these processes will be assessed and their dimensional accuracies and properties compared with specifications and any need for further process development identified. The specific areas that will be focussed on include: (a) the slow build rate and the build up of stresses during AM; (b) the reproducibility of products, the characteristics of the powder and the development of reusable and/or low cost tooling for NNSHIP; (c) the scatter in properties caused by inconsistent microstructures; (d) improving the strength of wax patterns.

The process development will be finalised in month 30 so that state-of-the-art demonstrators can be manufactured and assessed by partners and end-users, during the final 6 months. The cost of the process route for components will be provided to the end-users and this, together with their assessment of the quality of these products, will allow the end-users to decide whether to transfer the technologies to their supply chain.