Hydraulic Manifold

Reverse Engineering and Additive manufacturing of an hydraulic manifold.

Optimization in numbers

Weight Reduction
75%

Task and challenge

Product

Hydraulic Manifold

Application

Oil control

Used material

Titanium-alloy (TiAl6V4)

Redesign and optimization of a hydraulic manifold to provide a viable alternative in the area of oil control for an innovative hydraulic application; In fact, compared to current solutions, this one challenges the limitations of traditional manufacturing processes and the limitations of today's applications, enhancing the potential and possibilities offered by metal additive manufacturing, particularly "Selective Laser Melting." In this project, an AM-driven design approach is proposed that has achieved a weight reduction of more than 70% of the entire assembly and functional optimization of the assembly.

Solution

From the original component, reverse engineering made it possible to completely reconstruct the internal path of the channels and all the fluid ducts and other hidden features. this made it possible to identify and parameterize them in order to subsequently manipulate and define them as preserved geometries.

From the File CAD of the component, we started with the identification and determination of the load cases for the initial choice of the material through finite element analysis (FEM analysis) driven by CAD/CAE Software. This allowed us to identify the first critical issues and to preliminarily choose the material to continue the design process and prepare the design for optimization.

Using the most advanced optimization techniques, once the ducts and all the preserved geometries were obtained, the overall optimization of the manifold structure was carried out through dedicated software to combine all these geometries. Taking advantage of generative design techniques, different solutions were studied and reconstructed, looking for the best one that would satisfy all process constraints and obtain the optimal relationship between mass and stiffness of the structure. Finally, given the complexity of the structure, in order to avoid a huge number of support structures and optimize the production cost at the same time, we decided to infill and use the latest generation TPMS lattice structures as support, in particular, the gyroid cell shape was used. The complete filling of the structure was carried out to obtain a component that would continue to comply with all requirements and, at the same time, reduce the number and time of post-processing and facilitate subsequent post-processing (CNC machining) and handling operations during service periods.

Additive manufacturing through Laser-Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) + CNC machining

Using 3D structured light scanning as Metrology inspection, comprehensive dimensional and geometric tolerance analyses of all elements were performed for part validation. The tests were successfully passed and validated internally.
Overall, the part was verified with a safety coefficient of more than 3 for static pressures exceeding 200 bar and burst pressures of 350 bar.
It is currently found to be in operation

Success

75%
Weight Reduction compared to the convectional manufactured manifold
350 bar
Meets all project constraints to ensure a burst pressure test til to 350 bar
0.05 mm
Max displacment to ensure the proper functioning of the internal ducts and seals

Our services

NIRI collects over 50 years of AM experience through the diverse backgrounds of our specialists and engineers to advise, design and industrialize additive manufacturing solutions. Our consulting and engineering teams offer services to Executive Boards for strategy, to R&D, Engineering and Technical Departments for specialist engineering and to Manufacturing Departments for AM implementation.