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3D printing turbines can run thousands of hours make unmanned aerial vehicle (uav)
Sep 10, 2018

Southwest research institute (SwRI) engineers are developing a radial gas turbine cooling for small generator, for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to provide thousands of hours of power.This development can improve the existing unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) turbine, its can only run several hundred hours before wear.

  SwRI professional cooling of the radial gas turbine using 3D printers, can make the metal parts                                                         of a layered and highly detailed.

Turbine is a kind of rotating machinery, when combined with generator to produce electric power.Current drones turbine's problem is that in the burning process of generator, turbine constantly immerse in high temperature gas, damage or destroy it in the end.According to the SwRI engineer, they are creating the version of the "more compact, more efficient, designed to meet the needs of small unmanned aircraft and custom."

"The warmer the turbine, its performance is better," said David Ransom of SwRI mechanical engineering department."But can't afford these smaller turbine temperature, so we design a kind of tiny air flow channel of turbine, can without sacrificing the performance of the cooling turbine.Usually use small turbines, you must choose between the performance and reliability, but we made it possible to both."

SwRI engineers used high temperature turbine internal channels, these channels are usually used in power plants and aircraft.They are using a new selective laser melting (SLM) increase material manufacturing machine to create an internal air passage of small complex design.SLM technology using high power density laser melting and fusion together step by step the metal powder.

To make use of the function of the new SLM 3D printers, SwRI formed an internal research and development plan, known as the metal additive start emphasize cooperative action research (as).New type of turbine is one of the first batch of products as planned.

"For us and large aircraft powered generator has been cooling turbine, and the size of the generator is not suitable for small aircraft," said Ransom."This is an exciting project challenges, and able to use the SLM 3D printing machine parts is a real advantage."

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