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APPLY FOR INFORMATIOIN

 
CASE STUDIES

Own development model for Integrated Management of Technological Innovation.

Retrieval of turbine blades

THE CHALLENGE

The compressor blades belong to the most important parts of the aircraft"s engine.

The compressor blades belong to the most important parts of the aircraft"s engine. They have a "wing" shape and their function is to compress the air that enters the engine to convert it into thrust. These components are subjected to harsh environmental and physical operating conditions, which is why they are frequently damaged and the engines must undergo maintenance operations.
The blades can suffer two types of wear: wear on the leading edge and wear on the tip. In the first case, due to the high cost of repair and the small amount of blades affected, the blade is simply replaced with a new one; in the latter case however, a repair job is done. Up until now, the process was done manually by subcontracting it to specialised workshops.
IK4-IDEKO, together with Danobat, has developed a machining and welding cell for repairing these blades for IBERIA.

THE SOLUTION

There are three main advantages provided by IK4-IDEKO resulting from this project.

There are three main advantages provided by IK4-IDEKO resulting from this project:
First, the automation of the process as the cell can work with a single operator, thus minimising human error and labour costs.
Second, flexibility of the line which enables easy changeover between different blade types.
And lastly, the improvement in mechanical properties. As a result of the laser cladding process, the recovered blades have fatigue properties that are even better than the original part, thus prolonging the life of the blade.

RESULTS

The process, up until now manual, has been fully automated.

The process, up until now manual, has been fully automated.
The repair cell is already installed and running in Iberia
Once the blades are removed and cleaned, a very thorough first dimensional check is carried out using CMM technology. All dimensions and general conditions are checked, it is determined if the blade is serviceable and repairable; if not it is declared unserviceable.
The serviceable blades are inserted in a laser and machining welding cell and go through 4 operations: first, a machining centre cuts them to a specified height in order to eliminate any damage on the tip. From there, it goes to an ultrasound cleaning centre where the cutting fluid is removed. Then the removed part is replaced by laser cladding. Finally, it is milled on another machining centre to provide the final aerodynamic shape. On leaving the cell, the blades must be polished and undergo surface and thermal treatment.

APPLICATIONS

Repair of blades, aeronautical sector.

RESEARCH LINES

IK4-IDEKO"s contribution has been carried out between 3 lines of research. One is Intelligent Software which has developed software for defining the flow operated by the cell. Production Management and Transformation Processes have defined the machining strategies and parameters, and laser cladding respectively. Furthermore, Transformation Processes has carried out the metallographic characterisation consisting of detecting possible pores or cracks so that they can be eliminated. All this enables the final processing time to be optimised ensuring the quality of the part.