December 13, 2019 (Buffalo, NY) – The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has selected Sentient Science and research partner University of Nebraska-Lincoln to apply DigitalClone® physics-based digital twin technology to metallic additive manufacturing (AM) components, leading to potentially significant savings for qualification of AM flight critical components. DigitalClone generates thousands of test results at 50% less cost and 75% less time than required for equivalent physical testing. This capability to rapidly evaluate, refine, and validate AM designs will greatly accelerate the qualification of flight critical parts built using AM processes.

Sentient’s core DigitalClone® technology performs both multiscale process modeling (e.g. residual stress and geometrical distortion) and microstructure modeling (e.g. voids, surface roughness, grain morphology) for various metallic AM processes. This 12-month program will demonstrate a comprehensive ICME framework (shown in Figure 1) that supports rapid and high-confidence qualification of critical components fabricated by AM.

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The innovation of the proposed modeling framework includes:
(1) physics-based modeling of AM microstructure that accounts for process parameters and material properties;
(2) multi-scale modeling of residual stress;
(3) microstructure-based modeling of component-level fatigue life considering impacts of defects, surface roughness, and residual stress.

“We are excited about this opportunity to demonstrate how DigitalClone can address one of the primary challenges to using AM in aerospace – the time and cost of qualifying additive parts for flight critical applications”, said Jason Rios, Vice President & General Manager of Aerospace for Sentient Science.


DigitalClone® enables physical based analysis of drive system components to predict life

About DigitalClone:
DigitalClone is a physics-based computational modeling and design framework that simulates the microstructure of different components and their behavior. It calculates internal stresses caused by different applied loading conditions, accumulates internal damages resulting in crack nucleation and propagation, and investigates the performance and life prediction. Sentient’s AM expertise include process and microstructure modeling of the AM build process, microstructure-based life prediction of AM components, in-process defect monitoring and correction, reliability-centered part design and optimization, and lifecycle cost analysis. Sentient’s AM fatigue life prediction capability has been demonstrated for several materials and components with high accuracy. Since 2015, Sentient Science has received a total of $5.6M in funding from the US DoD and NASA to continue to expand the company’s additive manufacturing capabilities. In 2020, Sentient will apply DigitalClone technology to conduct multi-scale modeling of AM process and resulting microstructure and fatigue life. The funds will be used to demonstrate the technical feasibility of reconstructing AM microstructure, predicting fatigue life, and detailing the plans to integrate different modules for predicting fatigue performance of AM components.

About Sentient Science:
Sentient Science’s DigitalClone® software applies materials science and physics-based modeling to predict wear and fatigue damage of in the microstructure of critical components and major systems of helicopter drivetrains and rotating mechanical equipment. DigitalClone provides prognostic solutions impacting design, manufacturing, operations, sustainment, supply chain management, and many other aspects of the lifecycle of critical rotorcraft components. Sentient Science received the 2014 Tibbets Award at the White House for the role they play in research and development for the Government and for success in driving innovation into the industrial and energy marketplace, the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneers Award in 2016 for commercialization of the DigitalClone software for life extension of wind turbines and Excellence in Wind Prognostics by Frost & Sullivan in 2017.

Media Contact:
Ed Wagner
Chief Digital Officer