In a recent joint project, Safran Landing Systems, an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation and space markets, and SLM Solutions AG, a leading manufacturer of metal 3D printers, tested Selective Laser Melting metal 3D printing technology to produce a component of a nose landing gear for a bizjet – a world first for a part of this size.
The joint objective of the project was to demonstrate the feasibility to produce a main fitting by Selective Laser Melting process. The component was therefore redesigned for metal 3D printing allowing time saving in the whole process, and significant weight reduction about 15% of the component.
Due to the stringent requirements of this component, which is one of the parts that transfers the loads from the wheel to the aircraft structure and is retracted after take-off, Safran selected the titanium alloy, as it is a material with high mechanical properties, naturally resistant to corrosion, which does not require any surface treatment. Additionally, it helps increasing part durability.
Thierry Berenger, Additive Manufacturing project leader at Safran Landing Systems said, “We chose SLM Solutions as a partner, because of their expertise and the SLM®800 machine, which exactly meets our requirements in terms of machine size and reliability.”
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With a vertically extended build envelope, the SLM®800 is perfectly adapted to produce large components. The machine is equipped with SLM Solutions’ proven quad-laser technology and innovative features, like the patented gas flow and a permanent filter, that ensure highest reliability.
One of the strengths of the SLM® technology is its flexibility. Design changes can be quickly modified, printed and tested, then less time is spent during the prototype development.
Gerhard Bierleutgeb, EVP Global Services & Solutions at SLM Solutions explained, “Additive manufacturing contributes to save time in the qualification and certification phases by rapidly providing the parts for testing. We were able to produce the main fitting in few days on the SLM®800, vs few months with the forging process.”
- Measurements: 455x295x805 mm
- Material: Titanium
- Machine: SLM®800
This new design invented by Safran Landing Systems, meeting ambitious resistance and mass reduction objectives, is patented.
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