April 2, 2015
Pratt & Whitney to deliver first entry into service engine parts using additive manufacturing
While Pratt & Whitney has produced more than 100,000 prototype parts using additive manufacturing over the past 25 years – and hundreds more to support the PurePower Geared Turbofan engine family’s development – the company will be the first to use additive manufacturing technology to produce compressor stators and synch ring brackets for the production engines. Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines exclusively power the Bombardier CSeries aircraft family. Additive manufacturing, also called three-dimensional (3D) printing, builds parts and products one layer at a time by printers. In 3D printing, additive processes are used, in which successive layers of material are laid down under computer control. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source. In production tests, Pratt & Whitney has realized up to 15 months lead-time savings compared to conventional manufacturing processes and up to 50% weight reduction in a single part. The PurePower engine family parts will be the first product produced using 3D printing powder bed additive manufacturing. Related manufacturing technologies that will be used in the PurePower engine production include Metal Injection Molding, Electron Beam Melt and Laser Powder Bed Fusion (including Direct Metal Laser Sintering).