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Typical economy class seats today weigh around 12-13 kilograms. Achieving weight saving under strict sizing and loading regulations can be difficult using conventional manufacturing methods.
To achieve weight saving, Assystem were looking to develop expertise in design for Additive Manufacturing (AM), specifically through the use of Electron Beam Melting (EBM), to gain in-depth knowledge of AM possibilities.
In partnership with Assystem, the MTC helped with the redesign of the seat bracket, using AM topology optimisation software to form a lighter structure.
The full seat structure was manufactured in titanium using the EBM process, providing a solution via non-conventional manufacturing.
The MTC developed and optimised EBM parameters to minimise process defects and improved part integrity.
Post-processing of the AM part, including polishing to improve the surface finish was carried out, followed by an inspection using X-Ray Computed Tomography (XCT).
A demonstration of how AM can be used to manufacture complex geometries
Weight savings by 30% through topology optimisation
The MTC developed process parameters to improve the integrity of AM parts
Validation of the part quality through Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) using XCT, providing Assystem with a greater understanding of detection of defects, and quality analysis for AM parts
BENEFITS TO THE CLIENT
Weight savings of 30% on seat structure, leading to reduction in costs for client
Increased knowledge of the AM process, including understanding the role, requirements and influence of topology optimisation and post-processing
Increased knowledge of design and validation of highly complex and efficient geometries for AM production, to support existing aerospace AM capability
Proof of Concept related to Prototyping in the context of Aerospace (Aeronautics)