Product Code: ICAL05_104

Thermal Forming Process Design
David Mika, General Electric; Niskayuna NY USA
Presented at ICALEO 2005

Thermal forming metallic components with laser energy is evolving into a viable manufacturing technology with commercial applications spanning diverse domains such as high-volume automotive part production, microelectronic device fabrication and shape tuning turbomachinery airfoils. Research activities are concentrated on quantifying the underlying mechanisms and resulting strain fields and in devising thermal forming strategies and schedules to yield a desired part shape. In this paper we outline a generalized empiric-numeric approach to determine thermal forming induced strain fields and demonstrate results with the nickel-based alloy 718, widely used in aerospace applications. The resulting strain field transfer functional is central to devising thermal forming treatments. Path planning strategies and results of thermal forming a turbomachinery compressor airfoil?a thin freeform 3D shape?are also demonstrated.

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