Velo3D Sapphire AM machine selected by Chromalloy for gas turbine aftermarket solutions
March 16, 2021
Chromalloy, a global supplier of gas turbine components based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA, has selected Velo3D’s Sapphire Additive Manufacturing machine to provide maintenance and repair services in the aviation and energy markets.
Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA, reports that its industrial AM technology is increasingly being adopted by manufacturers as a solution to offset the high costs of low-volume, direct-part replacement for traditionally-manufactured parts when both demand and long-term forecasting are uncertain. The company will qualify Chromalloy’s machine for processing nickel-base superalloys, including Hastelloy®X, a nickel-chromium-iron-molybdenum alloy known for its strength and durability in high-temperature environments.
“Chromalloy continues to seek innovative alternatives for our customers to extend the life of their engines and reduce their MRO costs,” stated John Green, vice president, Engineering & Technology, Chromalloy. “The Velo3D Additive Manufacturing equipment provides a unique, practical solution for our proprietary LifeX customer solutions.”
Jim Whitton, Director of Innovation Strategy, at Chromalloy added, “For Chromalloy, 3D printed parts must provide inherent value because they are 3D printed, otherwise the printing itself is just a novelty. Velo3D’s unique build capability and material density create high value by reducing post-processing requirements.”
Velo3D’s patented SupportFree process is said to enable geometric freedom, eliminating the need to redesign legacy parts in order to produce them via AM. This reduces the barrier of transitioning these parts, previously manufactured by casting, welding or brazing for example, to Additive Manufacturing.
“As an industry leader in the aviation MRO space, Chromalloy is an excellent partner for us,” commented Benny Buller, founder and CEO of Velo3D. “They have the expertise to open up a whole market category of parts. With the flexibility to produce high-value, high-mix, low-volume parts, AM allows the supply chain to be scaled to market- and customer-specific requirements.”
Whitton concluded, “For complex gas turbine combustor components that have limited aftermarket availability or high replacement cost, the Sapphire system will allow Chromalloy to produce hardware on-demand, negating high NPI (new product introduction) tooling costs and lead-times of other methods.”