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© The University of Sheffield

Andrew Cooper

Project Title: Disruptive Machining Methods for Large Aerospace Wing Structures

Academic Supervisors: Dr Christophe Pinna

AMRC Supervisor: Dr Sabino Ayvar-Soberanis

Industry Sponsor: GKN Aerospace

Distortion in large monolithic machined structures is a recurring issue for manufacturers globally. Excessive distortion in these types of components has resulted in high levels of concession, rework and even scrap, due to failing geometric tolerance limit inspection. Part distortion due to residual stress is fast becoming a well-researched subject area. The rapid increase in interest and research is well founded when considering the cost to businesses globally. Vast amounts of business capital are lost through scrap or corrective treatments to bring distorted components back in line with design intent. Finite element modelling has historically been employed to simulate the formation of residual stresses in components in an attempt to predict the resulting distortions from stress re-distribution post machining. My project has two fundamental research themes:

  • A major focus will be in understanding the origin of part distortion in the target product(s) and developing methods on how this could be minimised/mitigated.

  • A second major focus will be on understanding how a step change in material removal rates can be achieved. This will be through the development of advanced material removal methods for the target product(s).

 

Having completed an apprenticeship in manufacturing engineering and spent over a year working as part of a team of technology development engineers at GKN aerospace, I have seen first-hand how research can be developed to better industry practices. With this in mind, I wanted to experience for myself the process of conducting high-end research alongside world-leading experts, with access to current state-of-the-art machine centres, in my field of interest: residual stress formation and distortion in the machining of large monolithic aerospace components.

 

I'm pursuing a doctorate to develop my knowledge in my field of interest; high-speed machining of aerospace components. When not training for or playing rugby (union) player I can be found either listening to music or walking my dogs.

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