Romax brings gearbox know-how to the aerospace industry

A consortium of industry leaders, consisting of Romax Technology Ltd, ANSYS Inc, and the Gas Turbine and Transmissions Research Centre (G2TRC) at the University of Nottingham, has received Government funding for a research and development project that promises to play a pivotal role in maintaining the UK’s prominent technological and manufacturing position in aerospace. The funding is provided by the UK’s aerospace R&D programme, delivered in partnership between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute.

The project titled Heatssim (Holistic Engineering Approach to Thermal and Structural Simulation) will develop an optimised design process for aerospace gearboxes to improve product performance, safety and serviceability in this competitive industry. Romax and ANSYS have a long standing relationship and have worked together previously on projects as part of an ETI funded consortium to look at the drivetrain efficiency for Heavy Duty Vehicles.

Younsu Park, VP for Aerospace at Romax commented: “The UK is Europe’s number one aerospace manufacturer, and is second only globally to the USA. The benefit of profits and job creation to the national economy underpins the importance of the industry’s success, which depends on ensuring continual innovation and investment into improving technologies.

At Romax we have a longstanding history when it comes to understanding and developing technologies which can optimise the design process – critically a lot of the challenges we are seeing amongst other industries are being reflected in the aerospace sector. Notable issues including weight reduction, temperature control, power density, high operating speeds, structural flexibility and fuel efficiency are imposing challenging targets on the development of transmission systems.

Through the funding we have received, combined with our collaboration with the University of Nottingham and ANSYS, we are fully confident we will be able to address these issues, allowing for aerospace engineers to better understand the interactions between fluid flow, thermal distribution and structural behaviour – in doing so optimising the design process enabling future design decisions to be made smarter and more efficiently.”

Rob Harwood, Global Industry Director, ANSYS Inc. explains, “As the aerospace industry continues to innovate on products that deliver improved fuel economy, safety, comfort and operational efficiency, these products become more complex. This complexity results in a greater degree of design interdependence between engineering functions that historically have been more segregated. The transmission system and gear box is one instance and the Heatssim project is developing a demonstration of how design processes need to evolve to become more multi-disciplinary to address this complexity. Supporting this design process evolution using multidisciplinary, multifidelity simulation tools that operate in an integrated simulation platform is at the heart of the ANSYS strategy we have been executing on for over 15 years and are successfully deploying with companies across the global aerospace supply chain. We are pleased to support and be part of the Heatssim project and continue this journey.”

Prof. Hervé Morvan, Director of the Institute for Aerospace Technology and Head of G2TRC at the University of Nottingham added “Transmissions research is at the heart of the current transformation is aeroengines and vital to helicopters. In G2TRC we have a long pedigree in the simulation of complex two-phase flow transmissions systems, delivering high fidelity numerical solutions that support right-first time digital design ambitions and needs from industry. This project offers the prospects to do this for key helicopter and aeroengine gearboxes while linking the thermos-fluid flow simulations to structural and dynamics models in Romax products, connecting our aerospace experience to their automotive heritage. We look forward to addressing this challenge and move one step closer to delivering integrated digital design.”

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