Additive manufactured lightweight structures for civil aircraft components

This project is funded by the BMWi – “Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy” and runs in cooperation with Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH and the associated Boeing Company. The Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process of Ti6Al4V provides huge advantages for aircraft components like valve blocks and brackets. The gains, when substituting conventionally manufactured parts by additively manufactured parts will be examined and quantified. The scopes are, reducing costs, weight and time in comparison to the traditional design and fabrication method. Due to the basically different fabrication process of AM manufactured parts and the huge design freedom, a complete redevelopment and redesign of the components will be conducted. In order to reveal optimization possibilities an iterative approach will be applied and a material database will be generated based on lightweight structures, like lattice, composite and support structures.

The first aim of the project is to extend a SLM-trade-off methodology, to identify and to rank different aircraft components. According to the trade-off methodology, a decision scheme for future decisions will be developed with complete description of process chain mapping possibilities.

The second aim after generating a SLM material database is to develop different lightweight structures, which fulfil specific part function. To enable a stable parameter set for manufacturing, a “Design of Experiments” will be evolved and the mechanical properties of solid materials, lattice and composite structures will be measured. The main topic of the investigation is to reduce the processing time in every stage of the process chain, particularly in the additive manufacturing process.

The third aim is to redesign the most promising components and to adapt the knowledge, based on the previous investigations and work packages in the project.

Project statusIn preparation
Project duration39 month
FundingFederal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Project manager

Prof. Dr. Thomas Tröster

Project coordinatorPhilipp Glötter (Liebherr – Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH)
Scientific staff

Dominik Ahlers
Peter Koppa

Involved chairs


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Prof. Dr. Thomas Tröster

Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DMRC) (bis 2022)