Additive manufacturing for damping vibrations
A new GSTP activity has proven that it is feasible to use additive manufacturing to manufacture a frame structure capable of damping random vibrations in the hope this will prevent problems being discovered in the later stages of development for space hardware.
Vibration is one of the main drivers for the design of space hardware. Many designs are driven by random vibrations. When vibrations and shock problems are identified late in the development process, the impact is typically dramatic. Often a dedicated damper is the only solution but with large impact on design, cost and schedule.
By using additive layer manufacturing methods to develop and 3D print mechanical parts with increased damping characteristics, the team wanted to find a solution for either replacing parts at a late project stage without changing the interface boundary conditions. Or, if they were considered at an early project stage, parts that could enable optimised designs.
The team, from Space Structures GmbH (DE) and Fraunhofer IWS (DE), found remarkable improvements in damping ratios (values close to 8-9%) of tested cantilever samples exploiting high density powder.
G61A-036QTa activity closed in January 2019.