Russian researchers have shown off a large structural component for the Aviadvigatel PD-14 engine produced by laser-based additive manufacturing.
The outer ring case has been created from injected powdered titanium alloy using laser fusion.
St Petersburg's marine technical university and the national science university MISIS have co-operated in the research programme.
"As a result engineers bypassed the stages of casting and forging the piece," says MISIS, pointing out that the component's weight has been reduced three-fold and the manufacturing time cut to just 130h.
The mechanical properties of the component are "not inferior" to those obtained by normal manufacturing methods, it stresses, but the production process is accelerated "by an order of magnitude".
MISIS Eco Tech division director Andrei Travyanov says that the process can produce the combustion chamber housing for a small turbine engine in 3h, compared with two weeks for regular manufacturing.
In the case of the PD-14 component the same procedure can "drastically" reduce the volume of subsequent machining, further lowering production costs.
The researchers state that the experience will be applied not just to the PD-14 – the engine for the Irkut MC-21 – but the proposed high-thrust PD-35.
St Petersburg marine technical university's laser and welding institute research director, Evgeny Zemlyakov, says the PD-14 demonstration has involved development of mathematical models, diffraction studies, tomography and mechanical tests.
He adds that several technological processes – such as thermal deformation prediction and use of a substrate to avoid cracking – were employed to ensure the necessary accuracy during manufacture.