Turbomeca uses metal Additive Manufacturing for helicopter engine components

January 12, 2015

Turbomeca, one of the world’s leading helicopter engine manufacturers, has begun using metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) for serial production of engine components at its facility in Bordes, France.

The company has announced that it is using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) to manufacture fuel injector nozzles for its Arrano engines and combustor swirlers for use in its Ardiden 3 engines. These engines are Turbomeca’s latest models and are claimed to be amongst the most advanced turboshafts ever designed.


Turbomeca is using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) to manufacture fuel injector nozzles and combustor swirlers

“After years of maturation and prototype testing, Turbomeca has entered serial production of parts using the latest additive manufacturing, or 3D printing process,” the company stated in its press release. “The Bordes facility is one of the first of its kind to serial produce additive components for aerospace propulsion industry in France.”

The SLM Additive Manufacturing process used by Turbomeca builds the components in layers of between 20 and 100-micrometers thick from fine nickel-based super-alloy powder.

Additive Manufacturing has also helped simplify the manufacturing process. A traditional fuel-injector nozzle is made up from many different pieces, however the Arrano component is made from one single piece of material and features advanced injection and cooling functions.

Turbomeca, a member of the Safran Aerospace, Defence and Security Group, currently has one SLM machine in service and qualified for mass production at its Bordes site, but plans for others to be integrated over the coming years.






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As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 196-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Sintavia: New facility signals the move towards volume metal Additive Manufacturing for aerospace and defence
  • Thinking about metal Binder Jetting or FFF? Here is (almost) everything you need to know about sintering
  • Metal Binder Jetting and FFF: Considerations when planning a debinding and sintering facility for volume production
  • Velo3D: How a ‘support-free’ Laser Powder Bed Fusion process could remove roadblocks to serial Additive Manufacturing
  • New horizons for Additive Manufacturing in the oil, gas and maritime industries
  • Redesigned for Additive Manufacturing: Serial production of a new fuel swirler for Siemens gas turbine
  • Understanding metal powder requirements for Additive Manufacturing: Views from the industry
  • Towards a true digital twin for the metal Additive Manufacturing process
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