Aircraft Engine OEM Selects Optomec’s LENS® Technology for Blisk Repair
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A leading aircraft engine manufacturer has chosen Optomec’s LENS process for a newly-developed repair capability for damaged titanium compressor rotor blisks. The LENS system was selected over competing processes because it proved uniquely capable of producing material with the desired shape, structure and properties for this demanding application. In addition, the LENS process was able to demonstrate economic viability to repair blisks that would otherwise cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace. As part of the selection process, the manufacturer has completed a comprehensive mechanical property testing program which showed that the properties of the LENS material are equal to or better than the base material.
Dave Ramahi, President of Optomec, said, “Optomec appears to be well ahead of its competition in providing a commercial system for blisk repair. The U.S. Air Force and a number of aircraft engine OEMs have shown a strong interest in this capability as the industry’s need hasn’t been successfully addressed by other repair techniques.”
Aircraft engines can be damaged by foreign objects entering the engine and hitting the fast-spinning airfoils. Modern jet engines use integrally-bladed rotors, often known as blisks, which are made using materials of the highest quality in order to improve efficiency while ensuring safety. To repair these components, material added to restore the damaged blisk airfoils must meet the same stringent property requirements as new components.
Richard Grylls, LENS Product Manager, added, “The selection of the LENS technology is further validation of the exceptional quality of LENS-produced material, and its utility in critical aerospace repair applications. Components repaired with the LENS process offer material properties that meet or exceed industry’s most demanding requirements.”
Optomec is the world leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Aerospace & Defense, Electronics, and Biomedical markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D® aerosol-jetting technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication and repair technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.
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