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Nutonian improves the performance of air structures and turbine engines

Metals are an important component of aviation and Defense Systems, constituting nearly 75 percent of turbine engine components and 66 percent of an airframe's weight. The U.S. air force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Rolls-Royce are using Nutonian's machine intelligence software, Eureqa, to discover new relationships in manufacturing data that will slash metals costs and boost performance.

AFRL is the Air Force's only organization dedicated to developing technologies for the country's air, Space, and cyberSpace forces. It manages the Metals Affordability Initiative (MAI), a consortium that pools government and industry resources to reduce metallic aircraft component costs and accelerate implementation.

To date, the MAI has successfully transferred 50 technologies into 22 aeroSpace Systems across the air force and Department of Defense, with 39 independent technologies transitioned directly to the C-17, C-40, C-130, E-2, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, F-35, KC-135, P-8, V-22, Global Hawk, and Apache aircrafts. The MAI has also influenced the micro Satellite, Mars reconnaissance orbiter, and Orion Spacecraft.

As part of MAI's “Advanced Titanium Alloy Microstructure and Mechanical Property Modeling” program, AFRL and Nutonian teamed up to apply Eureqa to accurately predict how titanium alloys respond to various inputs and conditions during the manufacturing process to yield optimal engine components.

“Developing quantitative models that relate materials processing history to microstructure and properties is an essential part of maximizing the performance of future turbine engine components,” said Dr. Adam Pilchak of AFRL. “These models will help original equipment manufacturers optimize future engines by incorporating microstructure as a design variable, allowing them to ensure they have the right material properties in the right locations.”

Using Eureqa's analytical models, companies like Allegheny Technologies Incorporated and Precision Castparts Corporation can begin to churn out new components for Boeing, GE, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce. The models help aeroSpace manufacturing companies improve the performance of titanium parts for air structures and high-performance turbine engines, and reduce costs by decreasing materials-to-design-to-fly time. The models have also been incorporated into Scientific Forming Technologies Corporation's (SFTC) process simulation software, DEFORM™, and are now commercially available.

“The application of machine intelligence to manufacturing data finds relationships that can be immediately leveraged to impact the bottom line by reducing costs, improving throughput, and guiding advanced product design,” said Dr. Jay Schuren, field CTO at Nutonian. “We're thrilled to work with prestigious organizations like the AFRL on improving materials and manufacturing processes that both contribute to our nation's security and push the bounds on what is currently possible.”

Press release issued by Nutonian on July 7, 2015


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