At GE, scientists working on how to fix existing aircraft engine blades developed a technique they call “cold spray” that takes additive manufacturing to new speeds. They shoot metal from a supersonic nozzle onto the parts, essentially rebuilding pieces “with a tool that looks like a spray gun.” Because the metal articles are cold, they don’t need to worry about any heat from the process warping the existing metal. The metallic powder particles smack against the metal surface so hard that they form a diffusion bond with the existing material. Last month GE used it for the first time under real-world conditions to repair a gearbox from a GE90 engine.
More details, including information about the software component, can be found here.
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Filed Under: 3D printing • additive manufacturing • stereolithography, Industrial automation