The US Air Force has awarded Optomec a US$1 million contract to repair turbine engine components, including titanium parts.
The US Air Force has awarded Optomec a US$1 million contract to repair turbine engine components, including titanium parts.

The US Air Force has awarded additive manufacturing (AM) company Optomec a US$1 million contract to deliver a high-volume 3D printer for repairing turbine engine components, including titanium parts.

Optomec says that its repair system can process tens of thousands of repairs per year but will initially focus on tip refurbishment for turbine blades. The company will also reportedly work with the Air Force in improving process parameters for a range of target repairs. Repairing worn or damaged parts using AM rather than replacing them could save up to 70%, according to the company.

‘We have been processing titanium for years, but not in high-volume, oxygen-free production cells, although Optomec has developed automated, high-volume production cells for other alloys,’ said Jamie Hanson, VP business development at Optomec. ‘The challenge given to us by the Air Force was to provide a system based on commercially proven capabilities that meet their production and technical requirements.’

This story uses material from Optomec, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.