Related Resources: 3D Additive Printing Manufacturing

3D Printing for Superalloys

Additive 3D Printing Manufacturing

Additive 3D Printing Manufacturing for Superalloys – Producibility and Cost Validation

This resource requires a Premium Membership

Open: Additive 3D Printing Manufacturing for Superalloys – Producibility and Cost Validation

Technology Program of the Metals Affordability Initiative (MAI) with USAF-AFRL
Andrew Debiccari (Pratt & Whitney),
Benjamin Lagow (Rolls Royce),
James Moor (Pratt & Whitney)
Sudhir Tewari (GE Aviation)

The primary goal of this project, Additive Manufacturing for Superalloys – Producibility and Cost Evaluation, is to achieve cost and lead-time reductions of up to 50% for high-temperature static turbine engine components such as diffuser and turbine cases. Such components are used in virtually all aerospace gas turbine engines with the majority of these components fabricated from Alloy 718.

These components are made from either forgings or castings. Each of these material forms presents some common and unique issues that result in these parts being some of the most expensive found in the engine. This program addresses these cost-driving issues through the development and implementation of additive manufacturing techniques, resulting in a methodology that can be used to determine the most cost-effective way to fabricate the target structures based on overall part and feature specific geometries. The developed additive technologies can also be implemented into other areas, such as repair, for additional benefits

This program aims to demonstrate the feasibility of adding features that disproportionately increase the cost of superalloy components onto simple to produce, high yield backbone shells. The features in question (bosses, instrumentation ports, etc.) result in a disproportionate cost due to poor utilization of input material, high cost of quality, and other associated drivers. This program also plans to develop a methodology by which various factors relating to total fabrication costs, for example deposition, backbone, and machining costs, will be integrated into a single model. The combination of a technical effort to prove the feasibility and utility of additive manufacturing processes and an economic study aimed at quantifying and integrating the cost drivers of these related manufacturing processes intends to provide the tools required to achieve the stated goals of up to a 50% reduction in both final part cost and lead time. There are many options currently available for additive manufacturing. Based on past experience and technology maturity level, the processes evaluated in this study were:

Shaped Metal Deposition (SMD, 3D Weld
Laser Powder Deposition (LPD)
Electron Beam Wire Deposition (EBWD)


3D Printing Manufacturing of Aerospace Alloys