Metal injection molded components are used in the Eurofighter Typhoon as part of a strategy to reduce costs without compromising performance. A validation study on MIM was conducted by Pratt & Whiney and MTU Aero Engines of Germany with promising results. MIM components will be used in the EJ200 engine in the Eurofighter.. Blades and vanes in the turbine have usually been cast but MTU says the new MIM vanes combine the cost advantage of cast metal with the strength of forged metal. The MIM parts achieve 95% of the strength of forged parts. The power of the engine makes it a key combat aircraft for NATO forces,
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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