Evaluating How Functional Performance in Aerospace Components Is Affected by Geometric Variation
Journal article, 2018
Geometric variation stemming from manufacturing can be a limiting factor for the quality and reliability of products. Therefore, manufacturing assessments are increasingly being performed during the early stages of product development. In the aerospace industry, products are complex engineering systems, the development of which require multidisciplinary expertise. In such contexts, there are significant barriers against assessing the effects of geometric variation on the functionality of products. To overcome these barriers, this article introduces a new methodology consisting of a modelling approach linked to a multidisciplinary simulation environment. The modelling approach is based on the parametric point method, which allows point-scanned data to be transferred to parameterised CAD models. In a case study, the methodology is implemented in an industrial setting. The capability of the methodology is demonstrated through a few applications, in which the effects of geometric variation on the aerodynamic, thermal, and structural performance of a load-bearing turbofan component are analysed. The proposed methodology overcomes many of the current barriers, making it more feasible to assess the effects of geometric variation during the early design phases. Despite some limitations, the methodology contributes to an academic understanding of how to evaluate geometric variation in multidisciplinary simulations and provides a tool for industry.