Don Milesh Pieris
EngD Student, 2016 intake
University: University of Nottingham
Sponsoring company: Rolls-Royce (Aerospace)
Background: Integrated Masters in Aero Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde 2016.
The aim of this EngD project is to develop non-destructive methods of inspecting Additive Layer Manufactured (ALM ) products. This method of manufacturing inherently lends itself quite well to in-line inspection as the component is built up layer by layer. This means that once a layer is printed it can be fully inspected but once the component is complete, its intermediate layer(s) cannot be inspected as closely as they could have been during the build stage.
Some of the initial ideas on inspection techniques include laser ultrasonic techniques, such as Spatially Resolved Acoustic Spectroscopy (SRAS), laser ultrasonic phased arrays, ultrasonic transducers, ultrasonic phased arrays and possibly Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMATs).
Ultimately, this would mean that someday in the near future a complex component such as a turbine blade with internal cooling passages could be 3D printed. The component would be accompanied by some paper work describing the internal characteristics of each layer such as: micro structure; grain orientation; residual stress and hopefully much much more.