Product Code: ICAL07_402
Investigation of Laser Consolidation for Manufacturing Functional Net-Shape Components for Potential Rocket Engine Applications
Lijue Xue, National Research Council Canada, Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute; London ON Canada
Thomas Van Daam, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc. ; Canoga Park CA USA
Yangsheng Li, National Research Council Canada, Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute; London ON Canada
Clifford Bampton, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc.; Canoga Park CA USA
Presented at ICALEO 2007
Laser consolidation is an emerging novel computer-aided manufacturing process that produces net-shape functional metallic parts layer by layer directly from a CAD model by using a laser beam to melt the injected powder and re-solidifying it on the previous pass. As an alternative to the conventional machining process, this novel manufacturing process builds net-shape functional parts or features on an existing part by adding instead of removing material. Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne specializes in the design and manufacturing of rocket engines, which requires the manufacturing of various small quantity but complex shaped components. Laser consolidation provides unique capabilities for manufacturing potential rocket engine components. In this paper, laser consolidation of IN-625 and Ti-6Al-4V has been investigated to build several generic shapes representing parts that may have potential rocket engine applications. Laser consolidation produced components with good surface finish, dimensional accuracy and mechanical properties, which demonstrated the potential for direct manufacturing of functional net-shape components and tooling. In addition, some preliminary results demonstrated that the laser consolidation, in combination with solid-state, net-shape powder metallurgy processing, may provide a unique manufacturing capability to make very complex components for the rocket engines.
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