MTU Aero Engines is stepping up its efforts in the field of additive manufacturing. At the beginning of this year, a separate department, headed up by Dr. Jürgen Kraus, was set up to push this technology forward.
At MTU’s headquarters in Munich, Dr. Jürgen Kraus, Director, Additive Manufacturing, has assembled a team of around 30 professionals from various technical disciplines: design engineers, structural mechanics engineers, process specialists, and operations scheduling experts. They look into new conceptual designs of applications and constructions from a bionics viewpoint, push the development of the production technology forward, and industrialize the entire process chain. Experts estimate that by 2030, parts manufactured using additive manufacturing techniques will account for at least 15% of the overall engine. The additive manufacturing process used at MTU is selective laser melting, or SLM; production of borescope bosses for the PurePower®PW1100G-JM geared turbofan engine powering the A320neo started back in 2013.
The aim is to explore new designs, new components, and new materials. MTU is currently working on a seal carrier manufactured using additive processes. Other aims are to further enhance the process monitoring system and improve the surface finish.