Optomec has been awarded US$500,000 to develop ways to repair US Air Force jet engine components using additive manufacturing (AM).
Optomec has been awarded US$500,000 to develop ways to repair US Air Force jet engine components using additive manufacturing (AM).

3D printing company Optomec has been awarded US$500,000 to develop ways to repair US Air Force jet engine components using additive manufacturing (AM).

The company plans to use its LENS metal additive manufacturing technology based on powder-fed directed energy deposition (DED) to improve process parameters and procedures in 3D printing turbine blades made from both titanium and nickel-base superalloys for installation in the F-15 and F-16 fighters.

Optomec says that will use technology such as advanced vision and distortion compensation software, controlled atmosphere processing and batch automation using oxygen-free material handling, important for titanium repair.

The program reportedly has a projected ROI of 184% with a payback period of less than two years.

‘Optomec has worked out the process recipes for titanium repair,’ said Jamie Hanson, VP of business development. ‘This solution essentially takes Optomec’s titanium repair process to high volume levels where it will have a major impact on lowering maintenance costs as engine OEMs use more and more titanium.’

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.