Developing a novel manufacturing method to produce stiffened plate structures

Garrick, Andrew J. H. and Toumpis, Athanasios I. and Galloway, Alexander M. (2021) Developing a novel manufacturing method to produce stiffened plate structures. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 112 (9-10). pp. 2805-2813. ISSN 1433-3015 (

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Isogrid is a highly efficient stiffened plate structure which was developed in the aerospace industry for use in rocketry and space structures. Its current form is unviable outwith these applications, as the available production methods are expensive due to excessive machining time in addition to considerable material wastage. The method detailed in this body of work was developed to manufacture Isogrid in a more efficient manner, so that its weight saving properties may become more widely accessible. This novel Isogrid manufacturing process uses a rolling mill with patterned rollers to imprint a 3D structure of ribs into the surface of a billet material. To validate this method, a patterned roller was designed, manufactured and fitted to a rolling mill to produce sheets of aluminium AA1050 Isogrid. This process successfully created Isogrid in a sustainable, rapid manner. The samples produced were tested in 3-point bending and compared against flat plate of the same material. They were found to be 100% stronger in bending compared to a neutral flat plate with a strength shape factor of 1.6 after discounting the effect of cold work.