Risk CDT - Uncertainty and Risk in the Deployment of Additive Manufacturing Produced Structures in the Aerospace Industry

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a new manufacturing process that ‘grows’ 3D parts, layer by layer.  By allowing the construction of extremely complex geometries, it has led to exciting innovations in the manufacturing industry. Figure 1 shows an example, where AM has been used to manufacture components that have been structurally optimised.  


It is clear that, as a result of its ability to generate components that are structurally, thermally and/or flow optimised; AM has the potential to be applied in many areas of the aerospace industry. Before this can happen, however, it has to be established that the developed technology will significantly reduce the risk of component failure.

To that end, the aim of this project is to establish how the inclusion of components that have been created using AM will reduce the probability of failure of aerospace structures. This will be based around a computational modelling approach and will make use of advanced Finite Element software as well as a technique known as Subset Simulation, which can be used to efficiently estimate failure probabilities. This work will be followed up by a cost benefit analysis, which will establish the merits of adopting AM in the aerospace industry.

As well as working within the area of Aerospace Engineering, the successful applicant will also work closely with colleagues from the Department of Computer Science. This is to ensure the efficient running of the large computational models that will be involved in the project. Moreover, the student will also work closely with the Renishaw Additive Manufacturing group. The project therefore provides a unique opportunity to work with a world leading engineering and scientific technology company which has an excellent track record in research. 

Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantification and Management of Risk & Uncertainty in Complex Systems & Environments is funded by EPSRC and ESRC.