CMC Phase II
Third Wave Systems Continues Development for Composite Modeling for CMCs
Modeling technology company awarded a Phase II award from the USAF
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.– Third Wave Systems continues its long history of developing technology for government-funded projects with a newly awarded Phase II project for the U.S. Air Force. The project was awarded after the success of the Phase I project where Third Wave Systems successfully demonstrated machining modeling of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs).
Using its commercially-distributed software products, AdvantEdge and Production Module, Third Wave Systems modeled CMCs at the tool-workpiece level with AdvantEdge and also for toolpath optimization using Production Module. The Phase II project will advance TWS’ CMCs modeling capabilities through collaboration with several aerospace industry partners. A CMC engine component has been selected for demonstration of cost reduction at a partner facility.
AdvantEdge is a finite element software that models at the tool-workpiece level and Production Module is an NC optimization product that optimizes toolpaths for more efficient machining processes.
The new project focuses on finding new ways to machine CMCs faster while improving scrap rate and part quality. Machining CMCs faces different challenges than machining metals due to relative immaturity of composite machining practices and the lack of industry familiarity. Most commonly, the nature of the material poses the biggest challenge because many aspects of the tools used are sensitive to the process parameters. Existing CAM software tools generate toolpaths entirely based on geometrical aspects of machining without consideration for the physics that make up the material properties of the processes (force, defection, etc.).
Third Wave Systems is aiming to find a solution to these challenges using its finite element and NC optimization products to reduce machining cycle times, scrap rates, and setup times and maximize production capabilities without trial-and-error testing and without having to invest in additional equipment.
“We are excited to be working with the Air Force on another Phase II project to continue to find solutions to engineering challenges,” Kerry Marusich, Third Wave Systems President, said. “We had such great results from the Phase I project in modeling OMCs and we are looking forward to the results we receive from the Phase II project and look forward to continuing to achieving positive results.”
During the two-year, $750,000 project, Third Wave Systems will work with a partner and conduct testing at the partner facility for the aircraft engine test component.