Materials data management is safety- and business-critical to the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) industry.
The challenge is ensuring that material properties data, and their inter-relationships, are captured and applied correctly. When this data is properly managed it maximizes insight, avoids wasted effort and ensures traceability/accuracy.
However, maintaining this data is becoming more complex because it is constantly and rapidly increasing.
For instance, new materials technologies, such as composites and additive manufacturing (AM), introduce material property variability based on their application, form factor and manufacturing process. The data requirements to trust these new materials, and their applications, place extra burdens on the A&D industry.
Additionally, as A&D engineers are tasked to better understand the mechanisms driving performance through post-failure engineering modeling, the demand for accurate materials property data will grow.
To address these challenges, the Material Data Management Consortium (MDMC) has defined best practices and driven the development of software, systems and tools to support material data management.
How Additive Manufacturing and ICME Are Affecting A&D Materials Data Management
The MDMC ensures that its materials data management best practices are compatible with the latest industry trends.
Two interesting trends affecting materials data management in the A&D sector are AM and integrated computational materials engineering (ICME).
ICME combines simulation and experimental methods across various length scales. The aim is to better understand and optimize materials and manufacturing processes.
AM enables A&D engineers to lightweight designs and print replacement parts on-demand. The research and development (R&D) organizations looking to realize and certify these applications require a large quantity of materials data. However, many R&D organizations are still learning which materials data to collect, and which measurements and analyses are needed to collect it. To facilitate this process, MDMC members are defining standards and data structures to collect and manage AM data. These standards will help R&D organizations develop better AM processes with a faster time-to-market.
From a materials information management perspective, integrating the information captured by ICME requires a flexible system that can import data and methods from various sources. MDMC is feeding such requirements into the ongoing development of technology by ANSYS Granta.
MDMC and ANSYS Granta Have Improved A&D Materials Property Data Management
Thanks to ANSYS Granta, MDMC members can deploy GRANTA MI software to support, integrate and maintain their materials information management.
GRANTA MI is part of a wider digital transformation strategy for A&D businesses. They are working to connect their materials information management tools to their IT, ICME, AM, simulation, design and project lifecycle management (PLM) infrastructure.
The GRANTA MI software captures material property data from various tests and sources. It enables A&D engineers to manage, apply, process and analyze their materials data. The resulting information is stored in a database system that preserves any vital relationships between the data.
This ensures traceability when selecting materials data for designs, simulations and more. GRANTA MI also enables the A&D industry to control access to, or create multiple versions of, the data. This is critical in such a highly regulated and safety-conscious environment.
The work of MDMC and ANSYS Granta is having tangible impact — MDMC members have reported that they have saved millions of dollars implementing materials data management software and best practices. A&D companies have also reported that they have cut time to certification and improved safety.