GE Global Research, the central technology development hub for the General Electric Company, has recently been awarded two projects under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program. Teams of Global Research experts will work with teams at Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Labs on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to improve 3D printing processes and explore new concepts for higher jet engine efficiency.
As part of the 3D printing project, GE researchers will partner with Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) to improve laser technologies involved in additive manufactured parts. Today, lasers are used in a process called direct metal laser melting (DMLM) to weld parts as they are built up in a bed of powder. One of the challenges GE and ORNL researchers are looking to address is to more finely control the area of material impacted by the laser melting process.
In a second project, engineers from Global Research and GE’s Aviation business will partner with both ORNL and the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) to conduct highly advanced studies of air turbulence that could lead to more optimal jet engine designs that deliver higher efficiency.