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The blades had to endure 13,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures beyond 1,250 degrees Celsius.

Siemens Explains How They Use AM to Make Gas Turbines with Infographic

Additive manufacturing has the potential to become a new key technology. As the infographic below shows, for example, it opens up new attractive prospects in the manufacture of gas turbines. This is why Siemens has been investing in this innovative technology right from its inception, and is now driving the industrialization and commercialization of these processes.

Additive Manufacturing builds parts layer-by-layer from sliced CAD models to form solid objects. This enables highly precise solutions to be formed from powdered high-performance materials. Siemens is a pioneer in Additive Manufacturing and already uses the technology for rapid prototyping.

Furthermore the company is now developing solutions ready for series-production for manufacturing gas turbine burner nozzles and repairing burner heads. Just recently Siemens achieved yet another breakthrough: the first gas turbine blades ever to be produced using Additive Manufacturing have successfully finished performance testing under full-load conditions.

The process used by Siemens is described in this infographic (you can download the PDF version here)

Siemens has achieved a breakthrough by finishing its first full load engine tests for gas turbine blades completely produced using Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology. The company successfully validated multiple AM printed turbine blades with a conventional blade design at full engine conditions. This means the components were tested at 13,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures beyond 1,250 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, Siemens tested a new blade design with a completely revised and improved internal cooling geometry manufactured using the AM technology.

The project team used blades manufactured at its 3D printing facility at Materials Solutions, the newly acquired company in Worcester, UK. Materials Solutions specializes in high performance parts for high temperature applications in turbomachinery where accuracy, surface finish and the materials quality is critical to ensure operational performance of the parts in service. The tests were conducted at the Siemens testing facility in the industrial gas turbine factory in Lincoln, UK.

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