Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Modular Prototype Production with Lasers Enables Faster Gas Turbine Development

06.07.2016

The long lead time of turbine blades and vanes presents a big challenge to the validation of new part designs in engine tests. Conventional vane production through casting is unsuited for the fast iteration cycles required today in the development of hot path components. In a joint project, Siemens and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have now developed a faster production process based on selective laser melting (SLM). Components are manufactured in a modular way in the new process chain, resulting in additional benefits.

Last year, Siemens commissioned its Clean Energy Center, a new combustion test center in Ludwigsfelde near Berlin. The center plays a major role in developing and refining gas turbines as a facility for conducting realistic tests on various turbine components with liquid or gaseous fuels. Rigorously optimizing the combustion processes involved is the key to achieving greater energy efficiency in the turbines.


Guide vanes made using the new modular process chain (material: Inconel® 718).

Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.


Individually manufactured segments of the guide vanes for the modular process chain (material: Inconel® 718).

Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

During the tests, individual turbine parts are exposed to temperatures of 1500 degrees Celsius or more. Such components are usually manufactured from superalloys in a precision casting process, in which each iterative loop may last several months and incur significant costs. Thus far, this has severely curtailed the number of tests possible.

Fast prototype production with additive laser techniques

Experts from the Siemens gas turbine manufacturing plant in Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany, have now developed a laser-based technology that considerably speeds up the manufacturing process for turbine vanes slated for the hot gas area of the engine.

To withstand the high temperatures over long periods of time, the turbine vanes require complex internal cooling structures. Selective laser melting (SLM) has proven itself to be up to the challenge, especially for prototypes or small batches featuring complex geometries. Similar to using a 3D printer, special alloys are melted by laser on a powder bed. The components are then built up layer by layer.

Over the past several years, Fraunhofer ILT has built up considerable expertise in the use of additive laser techniques and alloys for components exposed to high temperatures. With this wealth of experience, the scientists were able to develop special processes that made it possible to produce the relatively large parts (up to 250 mm) at Siemens with a high degree of dimensional accuracy and superior surface quality.

New production chain uses modular design for turbine vanes

Securely mounted on the turbine housing, guide vanes channel the hot gas to the movable rotor blades. The guide vanes consist of two massive platforms plus an airfoil with a delicate cooling structure. The latter presents a major manufacturing challenge; even production using SLM required additional internal supports.

A modified process chain has solved the problem: the platforms and the airfoil are manufactured separately and then subsequently brazed together. This makes it possible to not only eliminate the supports in the blade, but also to improve the surface quality. The result is a fully functional component that can be used in hot path rig testing in order to deliver quick feedback to the design engineers.

Siemens optimized various production steps in preparation for this idea. After manufacturing via laser, the parts are precisely measured, subjected to finishing, and then joined using high temperature brazing.

This modular production of turbine blades offers significant potential for other components as well. It would make it possible to connect cast and SLM-made parts, leaving just the complex or variable parts to be produced using SLM. At the same time, it would also facilitate the production of parts with difficult geometries that are currently too large for the SLM process.

Contact:

Dipl.-Ing. Jeroen Risse
Group Rapid Manufacturing
Telephone +49 241 8906-135
jeroen.risse@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Meiners
Group Manager Rapid Manufacturing
Telephone +49 241 8906-301
wilhelm.meiners@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstraße 15
52074 Aachen, Germany

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/en.html
http://s.fhg.de/BYt

Petra Nolis | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

Further reports about: Fraunhofer-Institut Gas Turbine ILT Lasertechnik Rapid Manufacturing Turbine hot gas

More articles from Machine Engineering:

nachricht Scientists from Hannover develop a novel lightweight production process
27.09.2017 | IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH

nachricht PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses
15.05.2017 | JULABO GmbH

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>