Robot based 3D welding for jet engine blade repair and rapid prototyping of small components

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Thukaram, Santosh Kumar
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Aero engines are made up of a large number of blades which are subject to wear and damage. They are expensive and must be repaired wherever possible. Engines also have small components which are required in small numbers that need to be developed rapidly. The first part of this research work focuses on developing a robust automated blade repair method using robotic welding. Optimal weld parameters were developed for build-up of edges having different thicknesses. Samples with varying Current and varying travel speed were produced and their micro hardness values were compared. Blade profiles were welded upon. The second part involves a methodology for producing small components using rapid prototyping (RP) techniques. This part involves use of 3D robotic welding for layered manufacturing. Tensile samples produced using the metal RP method were tested and results were found to be well above the minimum cast specifications for the given material.
Blade repair, Metal rapid prototyping, 3D robotic welding, Maintenance repair and overhaul