ADDitive mAnufacturing oPTimized TAilored SEALS
Participants: Led by ADATICA ENGINEERING SL, AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS (CSIC) and Applus+ Laboratories (LGAI TECHNOLOGICAL CENTRE S.A.)
Funding: The project is funded by the European Commission’s H2020 Framework Programme, Grant Agreement 821040.
Applus+ Laboratories (LGAI Technological Centre S.A.) in Barcelona is working on the ADDAPTTA SEALS project, as part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 innovation programmes, which will introduce new designs and manufacturing process for aerodynamic seal components on aircraft wings.
The selected manufacturing process (advanced FDM) can produce seals with considerably more complex geometry, without restriction to modification and optimisation loops, and with cost and delivery time reductions.
The project aims to greatly improve on the current manufacturing process of aerodynamic seals by deploying the latest technology in additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing.
At present, manufacturing the aircraft wing’s aerodynamic seals, using injection techniques, presents a number of drawbacks: production expense, inflexible manufacturing processes and long lead-times for retooling. In addition, the geometrical limitations introduced by the molds used in injection lead to an aerodynamically sub-optimal assembly solution.
The development of innovate additive-manufacturing processes have clear potential to solve all these issues. The EU project sets out to customise and optimise the formulation of existing materials by deploying additive-manufacturing technologies, with recyclable properties, specifically for aerospace manufacturing.
The selected manufacturing process (advanced FDM) will include multi-material seals which can be produced with much more complex geometry, without restriction to modification and optimisation loops, and with cost and delivery time reductions.
Applus+ Laboratories participation:
Applus+ Laboratories’ engineers at our aerospace structural and material laboratories will develop a Quality Test Plan and a Quality Program Plan to support ‘permit-to-fly’ homologation of a new generation of seals developed by a consortium of partners.
Applus+ Laboratories will execute the Quality Test Plan by providing advanced material, environmental and endurance testing services. The test plan includes coupon test of the materials’ performance and environmental tests following MIL-STD 810 and DO 160.
Applus+ will also develop an endurance-test programme to validate the long-term behaviour of the 3D-printed seals in realistic cinematic conditions. This test programme will require the design and manufacture of specific test-tooling to replicate the real movements and contacts of the wing mobile parts. Applus+ Laboratories is also actively supporting the manufacturing task of the consortium.
The resulting advances in seal manufacturing will optimise a wing’s aerodynamic performance, reduce weight, improve assembly and lower maintenance cost. In turn, future aircraft will have lower fuel consumption, less pollution and greater material recycling.
The ADDAPTTA SEALS Project is an ambitious European collaborative research partnership to explore the introduction of additive-manufactured rubber parts on aerospace structures. The project will tackle the sector’s current challenges, and the ADDAPTTA SEALS project focuses on developing new processes and methodologies to deploy these elastomeric 3D-printed parts for more environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes and aircraft.
Seals fabricated using polychloroprene chine
A draft-prototype design for a flexible tool to test endurance