Fuel saving and cost effectiveness of aircraft by isogrid structure of functional wheel hub

V.C.A.D Murthy, L. Bommathula, M. Depavath, B. Tarun, R. Nalini, S. Soundarapandian
Indian Institute of Technology Madras,

Keywords: Aircraft, Landing gear, Wheel Hub, Selective laser melting, Isogrid, Finite element analysis


The wheel hub is a critical component of the landing gear of aircraft. The functioning of the landing gear is majorly depending upon the ability of wheel hub to endure the functional loads during landing and take-off. The tire of the aircraft is mounted on the wheel hub which is connected to the landing gear through a shaft. Conventionally, the wheel hub is made by magnesium alloy (AZ91D) through die-casting. Based on finite element analysis (FEA), it was found that, aluminum alloy (Al 7075-T6), as the best suitable material in place of AZ91D. Functional weight reduction of aircraft’s components is key requirement, hence, additive manufacturing (AM) has well-suited. Therefore, selective laser melting (SLM) was used as technology and Isogrid as the design to make site-specific wheel hub by Al 7075-T6 as material. It was found that, functionally-satisfactory (about 30% weight reduction) of additively-printed wheel hub was withstanding for the practical conditions of functional testing (fatigue, tensile, hardness, etc.). In addition to that, localized tailoring of micro-structure was also achieved in tuning the SLM parameters. It was estimated that, a reasonable cost effectiveness by less fuel consumption can be achieved through the weight reduction of wheel hub.