Video: Metal Additive Manufacturing: Finding High-Value Applications in Aerospace
James Anderton posted on December 10, 2018 |

Aerospace is an important market for metal additive manufacturing, mainly because of the opportunity to cost-effectively print high-value parts in low volumes. But how far into aerospace production can additive manufacturing penetrate? Will companies print hot section jet engine parts, for example?

I sat down with Ryan Martin of GE Additive to talk about the outlook for printed metal parts in Aerospace.
Many readers are familiar with this GE Additive fuel nozzle. This part is significant because it represents a shift from the role of additive manufacturing (AM) for parts that are not mission-critical, to more essential parts such as in the engines.

Aerospace has always been an important market for AM due to the industry’s low-volume, high-cost parts made of more exotic, difficult-to-machine materials such as titanium alloys.

With sister division GE Aviation, GE Additive has a unique opportunity to partner with an aircraft manufacturer to develop metal additive applications in aerospace. For example, the GE Catalyst turboprop engine is built with 12 components that take the place of 855 parts, reducing weight, wear and leakage.

According to Ryan Martin, additive materials is also a growth area. Many metal powders in the market are not designed for this technology. GE Additive has recently acquired AP&C Materials, which specializes in the production of highly spherical powders, which is essential for ensuring quality parts.

For more information on metal additive in aerospace, check out Making a Business Case for Additive Manufacturing here on engineering.com.


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