Turbine construction

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT can provide innovative solutions for the processing of 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 advances precise machining processes to improve turbine performance and economical repair processes.

Fraunhofer ILT focuses on additive manufacturing and surface treatment processes, welding and drilling processes and automated polishing processes. Together with industrial partners, it optimizes solutions with regard to 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. Since it has conducted successful research, Fraunhofer ILT contributes significantly to developing turbine technology and making it competitive so it can meet increasing demands on performance, efficiency and sustainability.

Prototypes & small series

Together with experts from an energy company, Fraunhofer ILT has developed a laser-based technology that can manufacture turbine blades for the hot gas sector much more quickly. In order to withstand the high temperatures in the long term, the turbine blades require complex internal cooling structures.

Selective laser melting (SLM) has proven to be particularly effective for prototypes or small series with complex geometries. Similar to a 3D printer, the process uses a laser to melt special alloys in a powder bed. Components are then built up layer by layer from this.

Comprehensive increase in performance and efficiency

Laser additive manufacturing will make it possible to produce turbine parts for even higher combustion temperatures, thus achieving greater energy efficiency in the future

Laser material deposition can also be used to repair worn turbine parts efficiently. There are also new processes for producing cooling air holes in turbine blades or surface treatment to improve flow behavior.

Additive manufacturing of turbine components

The additive manufacturing of turbine components using laser material deposition (LMD) is revolutionizing manufacturing processes in the aerospace and energy industries. Precisely controlled laser melting processes allow complex structures to be built directly from powdered material, eliminating the need for expensive forging processes.

By digitally recording and analyzing the construction process with optical systems, users have precise control over the process. The system detects distortions and inaccuracies in real time.

Not only can these manufacturing methods be used to produce highly complex turbine components, but they are also an efficient and flexible solution for the production of components in other industries, components that require expensive blanks or extensive machining.

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.