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Development of Rolls-Royce Process Modelling Capability for Aerospace Discs and Shaft Assemblies


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Funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and undertaken in conjunction with Rolls-Royce, Nottingham University and Birmingham University, Wilde Analysis has developed a user-friendly software tool allowing non-simulation specialists to undertake simulations of the manufacture of disks and shafts for turbines.

Future efficient lightweight aero-engines will rely on the next generation of high temperature materials. However, they present new manufacturing challenges, particularly in joining where friction welding has been identified as a key enabling technology. Sponsored by the TSB, the Process Modelling for Tomorrow’s Engines (PROMOTE) project is a collaborative project involving Rolls-Royce, Wilde Analysis and the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham, which was tasked with capturing the state-of-the-art in materials and process modelling and implementing it in an end user-focused software tool.

General details on the project were published in an article in Eureka Magazine ( in 2010. This overview presentation has been made at conferences.

Please contact us at for more information on:

- The PROMOTE software and options to use it for your processes
- DEFORM process modelling software and consulting services
- Our software customisation services

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Development of Rolls-Royce Process Modelling Capability for Aerospace Discs and Shaft Assemblies

  1. 1. improving design by analysisThe PROMOTE Software James Farrar Business Development Manager
  2. 2. Wilde Overview• Formed in 1980 as Finite Elements Ltd• 1000+ clients• Member of Wilde Group of 70+ employees and £10m + turnover• 24 employees involved in analysis sales, services and administration – 21 are qualified engineers with significant experience using analysis software• ISO 9001:2008 Approved Quality Management System• On UK-steering committee for NAFEMS and involvement with many industry associations.
  3. 3. DEFORM SYSTEMraw material production forming heat treatment & microstructure Installation / in- machining distortion machining service performance & residual stress
  4. 4. DEFORM Business• Wilde - UK Distributor for 15 years• UK, Ireland, Northern Europe, France• Software• Training• Technical support• Consulting services
  5. 5. PROMOTE Brief Overview• Manufacturing route for turbine discs and shafts is well defined. Post Solution HT Quench• Improved engine performance requires optimisation of the manufacturing process Ageing Heat Treatment routes in each area.• Aim of PROMOTE is to deliver a software tool to model all of the processes involved in the Machining Operations manufacture of aerospace disc and shaft assemblies Inertia Welding Machining Operations Post Welding Heat Treatment
  6. 6. PROMOTE Interface Objective• Deliver capability for modelling disc and shaft manufacturing routes.• Provide process modelling capability to process and materials specialists rather than a very small population of process modelling specialists.• Deliver a user-friendly software environment to enable use of the modelling capability in a quality controlled and efficient manner.• Without the need for extensive training or specialist background knowledge in process modelling.• Enable users to input the required process parameters and automatically convert this information to DEFORM requirements.• Capture current state-of-art for current process modelling. Single user-friendly interface Initial Process Model Process Model Geometry Parameters Results Parameters Results Material Material Properties Properties Initial Material Process Modified Process Modified etc. Properties Model Geometry Model Geometry Residual Residual Stress Stress
  7. 7. PROMOTE Development• WP1: Rolls Royce • Material acquisition, characterisation, modelling and test sample manufacturing (University of Birmingham)• WP2: Rolls Royce - Manufacturing Process Modelling • Heat Treatment • Machining (Distortion) • Inertia Welding (University of Nottingham)• WP3: Wilde Analysis • PROMOTE Software integration and system development
  8. 8. PROMOTE - Basic Concepts• Object-oriented paradigm: – “Workpiece” object Label identifies Label workpiece ID and its current state – “Process” object Process – Process changes state of workpiece New label
  9. 9. Basic Concepts – ctd• Representation of manufacturing route Fore 1a 2a Aft Age Quench 1b 2b Time Machine 1c Weld Note: new workpiece 12a ’12’ with initial state ‘a’
  10. 10. Basic Concepts – ctd• Define manufacturing route• Define “process” object attributes – Process parameters, jigs & fixtures, etc• Define initial “workpiece” object attributes – geometry, material, etc• Subsequent object attributes determined by preceding processes
  11. 11. Basic Mechanics • Process simulation in text-driven DEFORM Keyword Text file(s) containing info on file(s) workpiece, material, process parameters and numerics Instruction(s): ‘read file’ Pre-processor Instruction: ‘generate database’Text file containing complete Database Binary file containingdescription of workpiece state file complete problem description Instruction: ‘run solver’ Solver Instruction: ‘write Keyword keyword file for Database file workpiece’ file
  12. 12. PROMOTE WorkflowWorkpiece data entry Engine assembly display Import / specify workpiece Geometry Material Mesh Geometry display
  13. 13. PROMOTE Interface Age process data entryble ses Engine assembly display Material model inputs User defined microstructure models User defined microstructure models MSRR file input Process inputs Customised, automated model inputs Customised, automated model inputs Points for auto – post T ( C) T ( C) processing Geometry displaytryGeometry t(s)display t(s) Temperature profile input
  14. 14. PROMOTE InterfaceWeld process inputs Engine assembly display Material model inputs Dies & Fixtures Weld inputs (Load / inetrtia)
  15. 15. PROMOTE InterfaceMachine process inputs Engine assembly display Cut profiles
  16. 16. PROMOTE InterfaceMachine process inputs Engine assembly display Cut profiles
  17. 17. PROMOTE InterfaceAutomated batchrun scheduling Automated & interactive post –processing options
  18. 18. The Way Forward• Background information on DEFORM:• Contact James Farrar to: – Discuss your simulation requirements – Arrange a company-specific web or live meeting on the PROMOTE and DEFORM software – Discuss evaluation options Tel: 0161 4747479