Joint Laboratory of Marine Technology produces AM military propeller blade demonstrator

June 29, 2018

June 29, 2018

Joint Laboratory of Marine Technology produces AM military propeller blade demonstrator

The Joint Laboratory of Marine Technology has produced a 300 kg military ship propeller (left) on its Rapid Manufacturing Platform (right) (Courtesy Centrale Nantes)


France’s Joint Laboratory of Marine Technology (JLMT), established in 2016 by Naval Group, Paris, and Centrale Nantes, Nantes, has produced what it states is the first full-scale military propeller blade demonstrator by metal AM. Using its Rapid Manufacturing Platform – a hybrid system which combines wire-arc and powder-based metal Additive Manufacturing with machining and polishing capabilities – the laboratory reports that it has manufactured a large geometrically complex propeller blade weighing over 300 kg.

The prototype Rapid Manufacturing Platform comprises a work cell containing a high-capacity robot, which allows a weight of 500 kg to be moved within a 3 m radius. According to JLMT, the system uses induction as an alternative source of energy. By passing a current through a coil to create a magnetic field and passing wire through the loop of the inductor, the wire can be deposited by adjusting the trajectory. This has the potential to greatly reduce power consumption and  manufacturing costs. Patents are said to have been filed for this induction method.

By taking advantage of the geometric design freedom offered by AM in comparison to conventional manufacturing methods, Naval Group and Centrale Nantes stated that they aim to produce innovative new propeller designs, increasing efficiency for ships at sea by reducing component weight and enhancing performance and stealth.

Vincent Geiger, Director of Naval Group’s Naval Research Technology Research Center, stated, “Printing this demonstrator is a major step towards the manufacture of innovative propellers by Additive Manufacturing. These initial results mean that it’s possible to envisage the short-term commissioning of differentiated propellers for the ships that will use them.”

Professor Jean-Yves Hascoët, who leads the Rapid Manufacturing Platform in the GeM laboratory at Centrale Nantes, added, “Additive Manufacturing is a process that offers unlimited possibilities: less material used, integration of additional features and geometrically-complex parts assembly. It allows for new designs, weight savings, lower manufacturing costs. Centrale Nantes has the industrial means and the extensive expertise in trajectory generation and AM required for blade production.”

June 29, 2018

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • The GRCop story: The development, production and Additive Manufacturing of NASA’s rocket engine alloys
  • Formnext 2023: Innovations in metal Additive Manufacturing from the industry’s leading international exhibition
  • Cybersecurity in Additive Manufacturing: Securing the industry’s future
  • Additive Manufacturing in the jewellery industry: exploring the potential of platinum and titanium
  • Mission possible: The five-year plan to gain FAA and EASA acceptance of in-process monitoring

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap