Enabling Materials Processing Technology for Low-Cost Fabrication of Integral Bladed Rotors (IBR)
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Integral bladed rotors (IBR) manufacturing is an essential part of gas turbine fabrication for modern fighter aircraft. Stringent dimensional tolerance and surface finish requirements necessitate precision manufacturing and consequently, resulting in increased cost. Our Phase II proposal will demonstrate innovative high speed machining (HSM) technologies the Air Force needs for affordable fabrication of titanium and nickel IBRs. Our approach meets the program target by providing an immediate 45% cost reduction for F-119 and F-135 engines and requires no capital equipment investment. Our program will ultimately: (a) Achieve dramatic cost and cycle time reductions for titanium and nickel alloy IBRs with no capital equipment investment; (b) Eliminate expensive, environmentally unfriendly electrochemical machining and improve surface finish; (c) Meet program affordability target of 35-50% for IBRs which meet qualification criteria; and (d) Achieve life cycle cost savings for F-135 and F-119 engines of $3 billion. Our disciplined three-phase development program will: (a) Apply innovative HSM technologies to nickel-based alloys to extend the cost savings to these materials; (b) Demonstrate innovative HSM technologies for titanium-based alloys via fabrication of IBR features; and (c) Fabricate full-scale IBR to demonstrate innovative HSM technologies for titanium and nickel based alloys that meet the affordability target.
Small Business Information at Submission:
THIRD WAVE SYSTEMS, INC.
7900 West 78th St., Suite 250 Minneapolis, MN 55439
Number of Employees: