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Siemens 3D-printed gas turbine blades win award for successful function at full load

January 02, 2018
Source: ASM International

Siemens AG, Germany, announces that its additively manufactured gas turbine blade has received the “3D Printing Application of the Year” from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The company received the honor for the first successful test of additively manufactured gas turbine blades under full-load conditions.

The blades, designed for the Siemens 13-megawatt SGT industrial gas turbine, were tested at 13,000 revolutions per minute while exposed to temperatures beyond 1250°C (2282°F). At full load they were traveling at over 1000 mph and carrying over 12 tons of force.

The tests were the culmination of an 18-month multinational project that began with concept and design, and included development of AM materials, lifetime simulation, and AM quality control. This is quite the achievement for Siemens, and a breakthrough for the technology in general. As one Siemens representative put it, “If you can print a turbine blade, you can pretty much print anything.”

Siemens claims that by implementing additive manufacturing, the blade design team can reduce the time from concept to prototype testing from two years to two months. Additionally, the team can test new integrated cooling channel designs which, without the use of additive manufacturing, would otherwise be impossible to produce. For Siemens’ Gas and Power division, this is a significant breakthrough that will accelerate the development of new gas turbine designs, bringing advances faster to its customers with greater manufacturing flexibility.

Subject Classifications

Industries and Applications | Fossil Fuel Power

Materials Processing and Treatment | Additive Manufacturing

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