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Siemens Tests 3D Printed Gas Turbine Blades

Power Engineering reports on a recent additive manufacturing-related breakthrough by Siemens.  “Siemens announced it has successfully tested power generation gas turbine blades produced entirely through metal-based 3D printing.”

Siemens tested these 3D printed gas turbine blades at an Industrial Gas Turbine Factory “in Lincoln, UK using a Siemens SGT-400 industrial gas turbine.”  The blades were “tested under full-load engine conditions at 13,000 revolutions per minute and [in] temperatures above 1,250 degrees Celsius.”

These blades were developed by Siemens’ subsidiary Materials Solutions.  “Siemens purchased Materials Solutions, which specializes in high-performance parts for high temperature applications in turbomachinery, last year.”

In order to create these 3D printed gas turbine blades, Siemens and Materials Solutions printed them “from the powder of a polycrystalline nickel superalloy…[they were] designed with a cooling internal geometry to increase [their] overall efficiency.”

“No commercial production date was given for the 3D printed turbine blades, [although] 3D printing reduced the lead time for prototype development by 90%.”

As Willi Meixner, who heads Siemens’ Power and Gas Division explains, “this is a breakthrough success for the use of additive manufacturing in the power generation field, which is one of the most challenging applications for [additive manufacturing] technology.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Power Engineering and Siemens

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