Belgium-headquartered aircraft component manufacturer BMT Aerospace and Pennsylvania-based metal expert Carpenter Technology have signed a partnership to 3D print components for the aerospace industry. The project has been kickstarted with the presentation of an AM compatible design of a metal pinion, a vital part of many aerospace components including engines.
Ewald Goossens, Business Unit Manager of BMT Additive, said, “BMT Aerospace strongly believes in the disruptive potential of additive manufacturing and its possibilities in aerospace”
“Our specific knowledge in design and manufacturing in aerospace, and our abilities in custom design for metal additive manufacturing, are a perfect match with Carpenter Technology’s knowledge of high quality and innovative products.”
From metal to additive
BMT Aerospace is a subsidiary of the BMT Group, a corporation which has twenty-nine subsidiaries in geography, technology, marine, and various other sectors. The BMT Group also has a dedicated 3D printing subsidiary under the name BMT Additive. The aerospace subsidiary of the group manufactures gears and other mechanical components including turbine engine gearboxes, ring gears, shafts, and couplings. Such components are used on aircraft like Boeing’s 787. BMT Aerospace also provides gears and gearboxes for Rolls Royce and Safran.
The new partner of BMT Aerospace, Carpenter Technology is a manufacturer of industrial alloys used in the energy, medical, aerospace, and defense sector. In the recent past, Carpenter Technology has shown a lot of interest in 3D printing, investing a significant amount of money to acquire AM material companies like Puris LLC and CalRAM. Earlier this year, the metal expert also established Carpenter Additive, a division solely responsible for AM materials portfolio and R&D projects related to 3D printing.
On working with BMT Aerospace, Marshall Akins, Carpenter’s Vice President, Aerospace Markets, said, “Collaborations like the one with BMT Aerospace demonstrate how partnerships across raw material, production, validation and design can rapidly bring to commercial reality new parts with next step performance potential […] Carpenter Additive’s suite of capabilities presents powerful tools to accelerate our customer’s additive aspirations.”
3D printing in aerospace
Exploring the possibilities of 3D printing, BMT Aerospace and Carpenter Technology redesigned a pinion. The part was made at Carpenter Additive using a proprietary 465 stainless steel. Post-processing and validation of the part was then completed by BMT Aerospace. Presented at the 2019 Paris Airshow last week by both partners, the pinons served as an example of the high-performance materials and parts that will be made possible by their collaboration.
In other news from Salon du Bourget 2019 CFM International, GE Additive, and Safran Aircraft Engines closed a multi-billion dollar deal for the 3D printing enabled LEAP engine, the European Space Agency (ESA) initiated the Design4AM project, and GKN Aerospace made various commitments to 3D printing including the £33 million AIRLIFT and DAM programs.
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Featured image shows a metal 3D printed pinion designed and manufactured by BMT Aerospace and Carpenter Technology. Image via Carpenter Technology.