Regardless of the manufacturing process used, subtractive or additive, material, purpose and application, produced components are conventionally solid mass with more or less complex shape depending on the production technology selected. Aspects such as reducing the weight of components, associated with the low volume of material required and the almost non-existent material waste, speed and flexibility of production and, primarily, a high mechanical strength combined with high structural performance, are competitive advantages in any industrial sector, from automotive, molds, aviation, aerospace, construction, pharmaceuticals, medicine and more recently in human tissue engineering. Such features, properties and functionalities are attained in metal components produced using the additive technique of Rapid Prototyping from metal powders commonly known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM), with optimized internal topologies and varying densities. In order to produce components with high strength and high structural and functional performance, regardless of the type of application, three different internal topologies were developed and analyzed using numerical computational tools. The developed topologies were numerically submitted to mechanical compression and four point bending testing. Finite Element Analysis results demonstrate how different internal topologies can contribute to improve mechanical properties, even with a high degree of porosity relatively to fully dense components. Results are very promising not only from the point of view of mechanical resistance, but especially through the achievement of considerable variation in density without loss of structural and functional high performance.
This work was one of the tasks of the Manufacturing2Client project, whose objective was to develop a frontal deflector to be commercialized in the automotive industry, using new project and manufacturing methods. In this task, in particular, it was proposed to develop the ability to predict computationally the aerodynamic influence of flow in vehicles, in an effort to reduce fuel consumption in vehicles from class 3 to 8. With this aim, two deflector models were developed and their aerodynamic performance analyzed. The aerodynamic study was done using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software Ansys CFX and allowed the calculation of the drag coefficient caused by the vehicle motion for the different configurations considered. Moreover, the reduction of diesel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with the optimized deflector geometry could be assessed.