Additive manufacturing in space applications
PhD candidate since September 2015 focusing on design and qualification methods using metallic Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing in space applications. Has six years of experience from the space industry developing components for rocket engines at GKN Aerospace.
AM brings the possibility to design products with complex geometries, optimised topology and integrated functions, which is alluring for the space industry with its high-risk products in low volume production. At the same time, process instability and material defects are impeding the immediate use of AM in mission critical components that are not allowed to fail. Space applications are especially exposed since there is no way to repair or replace damaged parts.
Product quality in AM is a question of understanding the product design AND controlling the AM process. An understanding of the possibilities and limitations of the AM process is needed to fully utilize them in the development of new and innovative products. The aim of this research project is to contribute to the industrialisation of AM in space applications by understanding the important steps in the design and qualification of AM products.