Turbine construction

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT works on innovative solutions for processing turbines and turbine components. The institute develops and optimizes laser technologies to improve the efficiency and service life of turbines. By using state-of-the-art laser and manufacturing technologies, Fraunhofer ILT enhances economical repair processes and precise machining processes to improve turbine performance.

Fraunhofer ILT focuses on additive manufacturing and surface treatment processes, welding and drilling processes as well as automated polishing processes. Together with industrial partners, it develops optimized solutions in terms of materials, processes and systems for prototype development, series production and repair.

Thanks to its many years of experience and expertise, Fraunhofer ILT has established itself as a reliable partner for the processing of turbines. With its successful research work, Fraunhofer ILT contributes significantly to developing turbine technology and making it competitive to meet the increasing demands on performance, efficiency and sustainability.

Efficient turbine design


In turbine construction there are a wide range of approaches to reduce weight and energy, optimize the technology and save on costs. New turbine designs, lighter turbine blades, optimized cooling and cost-efficient repair processes are just a few examples. In this dynamic environment, additive manufacturing processes in particular are proving to be promising technologies.

The close cooperation between leading turbine manufacturers and Fraunhofer ILT ensures that turbine construction continuously benefits from the latest developments in laser technology and additive manufacturing.


Competitive turbine construction

The current challenges in turbine construction are not only influenced by the requirements of the energy transition and the specifications of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), but also by the global increase in demand for turbines. Innovations in the area of production and repair processes are, therefore, essential. In this context, laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) plays a prominent role in the development of advanced turbine components. With this technology, manufacturers have  a high degree of freedom to design parts and can produce them to near-net shape. As a result, post-processing processes are minimized and complex cooling structures can be placed inside the turbine blades. LPBF has already demonstrated its potential and made significantly higher operating temperatures in turbines possible, which improves performance and efficiency.

Turbine repair

A robot-based system for repairing turbines has been developed at Fraunhofer ILT. The robot has a total of 10 axes that can be controlled simultaneously via the PLC. The zoom optics allow users to continuously adjust the laser beam diameter, an advantage that enables them to repair a wide range of components.

Benefit from our infrastructure

International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing ICTM Aachen

The ICTM in Aachen is a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer IPT and the Fraunhofer ILT, as well as the Manufacturing Technology Institute MTI, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL and the Chair for Digital Additive Production DAP of the RWTH Aachen University.