SYstems Science-based design and manufacturing of DYnamic MATerials and Structures (SYSDYMATS)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Automatic Control and Systems Eng


Materials and structures in many engineering systems are often subject to dynamic loads, which place challenging constraints and requirements on their design and manufacturing. For example, aerodynamic loads can induce significant vibrations of bladed disks of turbo-machinery potentially causing high cycle fatigue, with major implication on the cost, safety, and reliability of engines, significant efforts are regularly necessary during design to prevent the vibration problems. A wide range of research studies have been conducted to address these challenges with current activities mainly focusing on the development of more advanced and effective techniques for finite element modelling, simulation, and optimization. These are gradually extending the framework of the current state-of-the-art, but one of the main challenges remain, which is: "how to produce a high-fidelity reduced order model and conduct the reduced order model-based design for engineering materials and systems that need to withstand demanding dynamic loads". In order to fundamentally resolve the challenges, this project will develop an innovative digital manufacturing methodology based on the complex systems science and demonstrate the effectiveness and significance of the novel method in three case studies supported by the end users and stakeholders in the UK, including Rolls-Royce plc, Wilson Benesch (sound/acoustics), Thomas Swann Ltd (nanomaterials), MS Research (charity), TISICS (metal matrix composite design and manufacturing), Carter Manufacturing (bearings for railway applications), and MSC Software (digital manufacturing software). The project involves a close multidisciplinary collaboration between the researchers in system and control, mechanical and structure engineering, and materials science from University of Sheffield, University of Bristol, Imperial College, and University of Derby. The achievements are expected to significantly facilitate the fulfilment of the EPSRC vision for Manufacturing the Future, resolving serious challenges related to digital manufacturing and more effectively addressing high-value and specialist design and manufacturing of aerospace systems, advanced materials, and next generation railway system components. These can potentially produce significant benefits to future design and manufacturing activities centred around core UK plc industries.

Planned Impact

The SYSDYMATS project will develop a novel systems science based methodology known as "SYSDYMATS method" that would create a paradigmatic shift to the current way of the design and manufacturing of engineering structures and materials subject to dynamic loadings. The application of the methodology to engineering practice will be demonstrated by three case studies supported by end users and stakeholders in the UK Aerospace, Pro Audio, Healthcare, and Transportation industries. The potential impacts of the research outcomes are summarised as follows:

- The SYSDYMATS method will provide a generic and innovative tool for digital manufacturing of a wide range of dynamic engineering material and structural systems. The tool will effectively address the problems of time-to-market and R&D capital costs with many current state-of-the-art technologies. When many dynamic loading conditions are required to be taken into account, the SYSDYMATS method would reduce current time-to-market and computation related R&D capital costs by 50%, achieving a much more sustainable and competitive design and manufacturing;
- The project will bring direct benefits to the UK aerospace manufacturers including Rolls Royce by effectively addressing the fundamental needs of improving aero engine blade system designs and developing advanced acoustic liners for acoustic energy absorption. The SYSDYMATS based design of coated roots of gas turbine fan blades would achieve up to a 20% increase for the life of Rolls Royce aero-engine components;
- The project will timely meet the need of growing global loudspeaker and audio pro markets (1.5Bn$ in 2015 and expected to increase to 6.9Bn$ by 2020) for ground breaking products and materials as well as more powerful design tools that can produce paradigmatic shifts, significantly enhancing the competiveness of UK manufacturers such as B&W, Wilson Benesch, and other high-tech SMEs in this sector;
- The project will produce the revolutionised designs of physical support materials needed by the multiple sclerosis (affecting 0.1M people in UK) patients, the cerebral palsy (affecting 0.11M people including 30K children in UK) patients, and the premature baby transport (about l70 babies die in UK each year for the consequences of 16k neonatal transfers resulting in 125M£ added cost), making valuable contributions to improving public healthcare as well as the UK healthcare industry.
- The project will break the barriers to the use of composites in the UK railway industry by developing novel metal matrix composites-based light weighting high damping railway rolling bearing components. This would reduce the weight of railway bearings by 50%, increase the life time of the components by 20%, reduce the energy use and achieve 18%-35% reduction in CO2 emission.

The SYSDYMATS project is expected to fulfil the visions of "Design by Science", speed up the development cycle of digital manufacturing processes, and perform innovative designs for the manufacturing of products in a wide range of industrial sectors, producing significant benefits to future design and manufacturing activities centred around core UK plc industries.


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Description We have derived some fundamental theories for complex system analysis and design, providing a necessary basis for the application of system science to the design and manufacturing of dynamic materials and structures. We have also applied the proposed methods to the optimal design of damping properties of aero engine blade structures and auxetic forms dedicated to healthcare applications. These application studies have demonstrated the potential significance of the SYSDYMATS methodology in the application of digital technology to the design and manufacturing of complex material and structural systems.
Exploitation Route The design methods would be adopted by industrial partners of the project to significantly improve the design and manufacturing processes in relevant industrial sectors including, for example, aerospace, healthcare, and transport.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport