Feb 21, 2017 | By Benedict

Farsoon Technologies, a Chinese 3D printing company, has announced the successful testing of its 3D printed turbojet engine rotor pieces. The company says its 3D printed turbojet engine parts passed the 100,000-rotations-per-minute test.

Founded in 2009, Chinese company Farsoon Technologies has, over the last few years, given a number of signals that it intends to become a serious player in the global metal additive manufacturing industry. The company offers a number of metal 3D printing products and services, and last year expanded its operations to North America with the opening of Farsoon Americas. Those interested in the rapidly expanding crossover field between additive manufacturing and aerospace may be excited to hear that Farsoon has just taken a major step in the development of its 3D printed turbojet engine, putting the system through its paces and recording speeds of 100,000 rotations per minute.

Unless you’re an engineer, those figures can be hard to put into perspective. What is the significance of Farsoon’s 3D printed turbojet engine parts passing the 100,000 rpm mark? According to the company, it’s not so much about making planes fly faster, but more about creating an engine that is robust enough to withstand even the heaviest use. During its recent testing, Farsoon found that engine parts produced using traditional manufacturing methods ruptured at speeds below 100,000 turns per minute. So with the 3D printed parts surviving past that mark, there is good evidence to suggest that additive manufacturing can be used to create a better, stronger turbojet engine.

Following the successful testing of the 3D printed jet engine parts, Farsoon now plans to work the parts into a complete engine that can be integrated into an aircraft. The next step, the company says, will be aircraft engine optimization, to significantly reduce the number of parts and joints needed and to improve the overall engine life. The 3D printed parts will also be put through their paces at even higher speeds (160,000 rotations per minute) to see how they cope.

According to the Chinese 3D printing company, selective laser sintering (SLS) was used to produce stator and rotor parts, evading the limitations of the traditional processes of structural design, and producing a complex, long, and narrow channel for the rotor structure. The result of this process was that the heat transfer effect for these structural parts could be increased by 90 percent. Farsoon reported that nanometer-scale silicon particles were obtained at a cooling rate of more than 104℃/s, which greatly improved the mechanical properties of certain parts, with the yield strength and tensile strength of the material nearly doubled. The company also said that its Nickel-based alloy rotor parts are now up the performance standards of traditional forged parts.

3D printing was also used to research, design, and prototype core parts of a new pump for the turbojet engine.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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