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Development of a production approach to build a titanium flaperon rib by directed energy deposition

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Laser powder-directed energy deposition (LP-DED) is gaining interest in the production of complex large parts at a high production rate compared to conventional machining. Typically, these products are milled out of solid blocks. The aim of this work is to show the whole production chain to manufacture a titanium flaperon rib starting from the process optimisation to production and post-processing of the part itself. First, the process parameters for thin and bulky structures were optimised in LP-DED. Then different characteristic design features of the rib were defined and the manufacturing strategies were optimised. Lastly, all optimised strategies were applied for the production of the full-scale flaperon ribs. In this work, several design guidelines and optimum process conditions were obtained for Ti6Al4V processed by LP-DED. On one hand, the process parameters for thin walls and solid features were obtained. In addition, intersections and overhang structures were studied to achieve stable and high-quality connections. On the other hand, different strategies for reducing the deformations were studied and minimum deformations were obtained for large slender build plates. All developed strategies were implemented to successfully produce a large-sized flaperon rib in Ti6Al4V by powder LP-DED.

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The raw and processed data required to reproduce these findings are available upon request to the corresponding author.


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This work was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Clean Sky 2 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 945521 ITD/IADP/TA2, project MANTA.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by MLM-S, RH, TO and USM. The first draft of the manuscript was written by MLM-S and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors took part in the conceptualisation of the work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Funding acquisition and supervision: PN and MS.

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Correspondence to Maria L. Montero-Sistiaga.

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Montero-Sistiaga, M.L., Haagsma, R., Osinga, T. et al. Development of a production approach to build a titanium flaperon rib by directed energy deposition. Prog Addit Manuf 8, 61–66 (2023).

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