Production of low criticality parts such as shot peening masks, electrical enclosures, and duct manifolds using Carbon’s CLIP process.
This project seeks to further develop the CLIP process and supporting technologies related to the additive manufacturing of low criticality polymer components for aerospace applications with a specific emphasis on masks, enclosures, and ducting.
There is substantial opportunity for direct part replacement of low criticality components with additive manufacturing (AM) techniques offering cost savings, faster development-to-deployment, and significantly reduced lead times. The development and certification times of flight or mission critical components can be lengthy due to the vital functions that these components must perform. Current AM processes are limited in their ability to consistently produce parts that adhere to both geometry and performance specifications.
Under the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment (MAMLS) program, efforts are being conducted to address direct part replacement of flight or mission critical components. Among the newest advancements for polymer AM is the emerging continuous liquid interface production (CLIP) process developed by Carbon. The objective of this project is to assess the feasibility of this emerging technology and suite of materials to enable fabrication of low criticality components that satisfy shape, function, and performance by the DoD supply chain. The project also seeks to demonstrate and document a representative digital AM workflow from identifying a part through the key process steps of final fabrication and validation of a functional component.
Three part families are planned to explore the capability of Carbon’s CLIP process and material technologies for low criticality AM component fabrication (shot peening masks, electrical enclosures, and duct manifolds). Shot peening masks are being used to investigate the various polyurethane and elastomer material offerings. Most of the aerospace systems require electrical enclosures to protect vital instrumentation from contamination, debris, heat, or other environmental conditions. These enclosures are more complex and require tighter geometric tolerances than masks to accommodate accurate mounting of hardware and an environmental seal. The more rigid carbon materials including polyurethane, epoxy, and cyanate ester materials are being explored in the electrical enclosure family of parts. Finally, the production of duct manifolds is planned to evaluate Carbon’s build volumes versus component complexity in relation to the typical sizes of the manifolds.
Other Project Participants
- United Technologies Research Center
- U.S. Department of Defense
- National Science Foundation
- U.S. Department of Energy