Damage Tolerant Design for Additive Manufacturing

An experimental study on the fatigue behaviour of stretch dominated AlSi10Mg multiple load path specimens

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To expand the use of additive manufacturing in aerospace towards more critical applications, it is required to design parts in a damage tolerant context. Therefore, the damage tolerance of additive manufactured multiple load path structures is assessed by analysing the fatigue life and damage propagation of components with increasing redundancy. An experimental approach is chosen, whereby specimens with 1, 9 and 81 parallel struts are tested. A decreased fatigue life is found for the specimens with more but thinner struts. This decrease is attributed to manufacturing related effects that occur upon producing smaller elements. The failure of the multiple load path structures showed a step-wise pattern. Due to this, the decreased variation in fatigue life and decreased sensitivity to initial damage, multiple load path structures are more damage tolerant. However, in design a balanced decision should be made upon applying these structures, due to the decreased fatigue life.