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Norsk Titanium Marks Milestone in Additive Manufacturing

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Officials with the University of Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory (NDTL), Norsk Titanium (Norsk), Pratt & Whitney and TURBOCAM International announce the continuation of testing of an additively manufactured integrally bladed rotor (IBR). Building on initial testing completed in 2018, this next phase of testing examines the dynamic properties of the IBR. Manufactured using Norsk’s revolutionary Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) process, the IBR was inspected to the same quality specifications used in Pratt & Whitney’s current turbomachinery components.

The tests are being conducted at NDTL’s world-class turbomachinery test facility in South Bend, Indiana. After completion of the initial testing, where the IBR met 100% of all design, speed and pressure ratio test points, the current test program looks at low and high cycle fatigue characteristics of the IBR. Testing will include multiple acceleration/deceleration cycles and investigate synchronous vibration effects on the additively manufactured blades.

The testing was preceded by a manufacturing qualities evaluation performed by TURBOCAM. The evaluation found no evidence of alpha case, or residual stress concentrations, that would cause distortions typically found in additive materials. Additionally, TURBOCAM confirmed Norsk’s RPD™ material was well-suited to traditional milling operations, and was as stable as Ti6-4 forgings.

The ultimate goal of this effort is to develop the manufacturing specifications needed to deliver the complex, heavily-loaded components for turbomachinery applications, while providing the cost and schedule savings that have been proven on Ti 6-4 airframe components.

“Successful completion of this testing will show that additive materials can be used in turbomachinery applications, and paves the way to a full qualification effort,” said Norsk’s Chief Commercial Officer Chet Fuller.

The entire manufacturing and testing effort has been overseen by Pratt & Whitney and is being evaluated for application to future engine developments.

“Pratt & Whitney is excited to enter this next phase of testing. Utilizing additive manufacturing techniques, such as Norsk’s Rapid Plasma Deposition process, allows us to shorten the manufacturing and development schedule for our critical turbomachinery components,” said Chris Kmetz, vice president of Engineering, Module Centers, Pratt & Whitney.

For more information on Norsk, visit www.norsktitanium.com. Norsk will also have a display of its RPD™ technology, and the first additive manufactured IBR, at the International Paris Airshow, June 17-20.

About Norsk Titanium AS

Norsk Titanium AS is the world’s pioneering supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components. The company is distinguished in the aviation industry by its patented Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) process that transforms titanium wire into complex components suitable for structural and safety-critical applications. Norsk Titanium is a tier-1 supplier to Boeing and is committed to cost-reducing aerostructures and jet engines for the world’s premier aerospace manufacturers. RPD™ is the world’s first FAA-approved, 3D-printed, structural titanium, delivering substantial lead-time and cost savings for aerospace, defense, and commercial customers.

About the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory

The Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory (NDTL) is a gas turbine research and development facility supporting the major OEM’s in the aerospace propulsion and power industries. NDTL works on the leading edge of component aerodynamics, structural dynamics, instrumentation, and computational methods. The NDTL team supports the transition of advanced technologies required for the next-generation of gas-turbine engines through early-stage research onto the products of its customers. For more information, please visit turbo.nd.edu.

About Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines, and auxiliary power units. United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. To learn more about UTC, visit its website at www.utc.com, or follow the company on Twitter: @UTC. To receive press releases and other news directly, please sign up here.

About TURBOCAM International

TURBOCAM is a recognized leader in turbomachinery with over 150 five-axis milling machines producing prototype and production parts in 4 countries. We offer our expertise in making integrally-bladed parts up to 1100mm by five-axis milling and electro-chemical machining such as aircraft engine blisks machined from solid forgings, axial and radial impellers, turbines, compressors, turbochargers, and blades and vanes. TURBOCAM’s strength in manufacturing software has helped make prototyping a major emphasis of the company. We have produced thousands of unique part designs and have grown into many areas of advanced part development and production for aircraft engines under AS9100D certification. We are also Nadcap® certified for aerospace coatings.

Contact information

Lauren Quesada, Griffin Communications Group
Lauren@griffincg.com; +1 281-744-7938

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