Lattice Structure Optimization for Metallic and Composite Additive-Manufactured Missile Components
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-094
Topic Title: Lattice Structure Optimization for Metallic and Composite Additive-Manufactured Missile Components
Proposal No.: N181-094-0306
Firm: Technical Data Analysis, Inc.
3190 Fairview Park Drive
Suite 650
Falls Church, Virginia 22042
Contact: Nicole Apetre
Phone: (703) 226-4076
Web Site:
Abstract: With the advent of additive manufacturing (AM), lattice structures are being deployed today in a variety of engineering applications where light-weight, large surface area, energy absorption, etc., are critical. However, the design and fabrication of such lattice structures poses several challenges. From a design perspective, current methods are computationally prohibitive, or require artificial constraints that significantly reduce the design space. Furthermore, it has been observed that the resulting lattice structures are sub-optimal when compared to non-lattice-structure designs obtained through classic macro-scale optimization. From a manufacturing perspective, incorporating process constraints and accounting for lower-than-nominal structural performances into the design process has also been elusive. TDA?Ts proposed work addresses the SBIR topic objectives of developing an intelligent framework to design and analyze scalable lattice architectures for missile applications. Based on our team?Ts expertise in topology optimization, modeling for AM process and nondestructive testing, our approach consists of: (1) extend in-house conforming lattice structure optimization to include stress constraints under static and dynamic loading, (2) address process-related challenges of manufacturing, (3) use predictive modeling of lattice structure behavior under all loading to determine a statistical basis of failure propagation and risk-based decision and (4) perform experimental testing and validation using Digital Image Correlation.
Benefits: AM is not only a disruptive technology that has the potential to replace many conventional manufacturing processes, but also an enabling technology allowing new business models, new products and new supply chains to flourish. However, it still remains a nascent technology as there still are challenges in materials, software, data management, sustainability, affordability, speed, reliability, intellectual property, standards, etc. Especially in the missile and aerospace sectors, where mechanical performance is of utmost concern, quality of AM lattice structures from geometric and performance requirements has to be demonstrated within specific criteria. However, at the moment there is no software currently available in the market to provide fast and reliable design, manufacturing planning and structural analysis of AM lattice components in a single platform. The modeling and simulation work on AM is fragmented with a few small and large companies carrying out research effort with no interaction and also for their business interests. Because of IP concerns, these tools and technologies developed by the vendor are not available to all end users. Seen in this light, TDA?Ts proposed research product will be the only tool that all end-users can use to combine the design, structural analysis and failure analysis of a lattice AM component. Our product will work for any selected AM process and is agnostic to the vendor platform thereby enabling to compare processes and assess benefits and shortcomings.