Metallics Make Comeback With Manufacturing Advances

By Graham Warwick, Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

AM is already being used to make parts for the PW1000G series of geared turbofan engines, says Prete, without specifying what they are. He describes them as “simple” but says in the future the process will be used to make more complex parts such as manifolds and, in some cases, to design them differently.

“It opens up a whole new game plan in terms of design,” says Eli Liechty, manager of GE's Additive Development Center. “We're getting our engineers to think about designs that are more organic-like lattice structures. We're looking at things like coral and bones, and how we can model components after nature in some cases.”

AM will be a key technology for metallics in future aircraft, but it is not a panacea, cautions GKN's Oldfield. “It will be good for complex components with high function where we want to make a big performance step with geometries and features we cannot do in parts today.”

Tap the icon in the digital edition of AW&ST to see an animation of the linear friction welding process, or go to Aviation Week.com/video


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