Optomec Helps Solve Navy Aircraft Engine Problem

Albuquerque, NM, December 13, 2002. Optomec, Inc., as part of the Radian MILPARTS consortium, has been awarded a Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contract to develop a solution for leading-edge roll-over abrasion on T700 engine blisks, using the company's revolutionary LENS( technology. Currently, the standard repair method for T700 engine blisks is replacement, which carries significant cost and lead-time penalties. LENS( technology allows users to quickly and cost-effectively add a small amount of material to worn or fractured surfaces.

LENS( or Laser Engineered Net Shaping, provides an art-to-part capability for the manufacture of fully dense structures, layer by layer, directly from CAD files. Starting with the CAD information, a computer-controlled laser is focused on a metal substrate, creating a molten puddle on the surface of the substrate. Metal powder is then injected into the molten puddle in precise amounts to increase material volume. The substrate is then scanned by the deposition apparatus to create a shaped layer of finite thickness. This procedure is repeated until the entire object represented in the three-dimensional CAD model is produced.

The Radian MILPARTS consortium is made up of aviation organizations that manufacture and overhaul aircraft engine components, as well as cutting-edge technology organizations that specialize in advanced metallurgy. Requirements of the program include reverse engineering, CAD/CAM modeling, and requalifying (for flight) repaired T700 engine stage 1 and 2 blisks. The goal is to improve erosion resistance of the T700 compressor through application of highly wear-resistant materials along the leading-edge of blisk airfoils.

Optomec is a 20-year-old company that has enjoyed high growth related to its introduction of breakthrough additive manufacturing technologies that address defense, aerospace, electronics, industrial, and medical markets.

Since 1997, Optomec has been delivering LENS( systems that cost-effectively build fully-dense metal structures from a wide range of alloys, including Titanium, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and Inconel, making it attractive for a variety of repair and low-volume manufacturing applications.

Similarly, Optomec's new proprietary M3D( solution is an additive manufacturing approach for the production of Mesoscale (10-100 micron) structures such as microelectronic components, high-density interconnects, MEMS devices, flat panel displays, fuel cells, and biosensors. Like LENS, M3D is directly driven from CAD data, and does not require the production of expensive mask sets that are needed for thick and thin film processing.

Customers include leading institutions in government and industry, such as 3M, Lockheed Martin, Delphi, Rolls Royce, NASA, US Army, US Navy, and US Department of Defense.

For more information, visit www.optomec.com .

Military & Aerospace Electronics

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