Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., is partnering with an industry team for the development and testing of additively manufactured turbomachinery components, including the first additively manufactured rotating part for Pratt & Whitney development programmes.
The team includes Norsk Titanium, an FAA-approved supplier of aerospace-grade additively manufactured structural titanium components, as well as Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory (NDTL) and TURBOCAM International.
Dave Carter, Senior Vice President, Engineering Pratt & Whitney, stated, “We are excited to collaborate on these manufacturing and testing efforts and applications for future engine development. Pratt & Whitney is a 3D printing leader and has been steadily increasing the use of Additive Manufacturing techniques for the past 30 years. Working with Norsk, the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory and TURBOCAM will accelerate already successful efforts to incorporate additively manufactured parts into our production engines.”
The team is currently exploring the applicability of Norsk Titanium’s Rapid Plasma Deposition™ material for the metal Additive Manufacturing of turbomachinery. As part of this effort, the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory will test an AM, integrally bladed rotor (IBR) produced to meet the applicable quality specifications used in Pratt & Whitney’s current turbomachinery products. The initial test IBR will be machined by TURBOCAM International. Pratt & Whitney is expected to test the part at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory in the second half of 2018.
Pratt & Whitney will also benefit from United Technologies Corp.’s recent establishment of a $75 million Additive Manufacturing Center of Expertise near its campus in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA, where the corporation aims to accelerate the implementation of Additive Manufacturing across its product lines.