GE to produce laser sintered fuel nozzle

As reported here, the 3D nozzles will be used in the LEAP jet engine in late 2015/early 2016. Each engine will use 10 to 20 nozzles, so GE needs to make 25,000 of the nozzles annually within three years. The engines are manufactured by CFM International, GE’s joint venture with France’s Snecma.

GE said that it chose the additive process for manufacturing the nozzles because it uses less material than conventional techniques. That reduces production costs and makes the parts lighter, yielding significant fuel savings for airlines.

Reportedly, GE Power & Water, which makes large gas and wind turbines, has also identified parts it can make with the additive process, and GE Healthcare has developed a method to print transducers for ultrasound machines.

“It’s really fundamentally changing the way we think about the company,” said Mark Little, GE’s chief technology officer. “We can make configurations that we just couldn’t before.”

GE Aviation is also looking at using titanium, aluminium, and nickel-chromium alloys. 

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