Direct Laser Fabrication of a Gas Turbine Engine Component - Microstructure and Properties - Part I
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This paper presents the development of a new technique for the production of abrasive turbine blade tips by direct laser processing. This superalloy cermet component is an integral part of the low pressure turbine sealing system in a demonstrator engine. Direct laser fabrication of this component fiom a bed a loose powder results in significant cost savings and improved performance over the currently employed production technique. The technology has been demonstrated by fabricating a prototype lot of 100 blade tips, which will be subjected to an engine test. This is the first instance of a direct fabrication method applied to the production of functional engine hardware. This research was funded by the United States Air Force contract F33615-94- C-2424 titled "Affordable Turbine Blade Tips".