The luxury car and aero-engine manufacturer previously purchased SLM 500s as part of the journey to transfer its expertise and knowledge gained on single laser solutions to multi-laser platforms.
The additional machines are part of the pre-production ramp up for the Pearl 10X engine. They will be used for the manufacturing of aero engine components. The SLM 500 machines will be utilised to 3D print complex combustor tiles achieving valuable weight and emission reduction.
This will contribute to the environmental performance of the Pearl 10X, with an overall 5% increase in efficiency for the engine compared to its predecessor.
The Pearl 10X is the most powerful member of Rolls-Royce’s Pearl engine family and has been designed specifically for the Dassault Falcon 10X, a highly advanced jet aircraft. Over 3,600 business jets powered by Rolls-Royce are currently in service, and the company remains a leading engine supplier in the business jet market.
Richard Mellor, Rolls-Royce Chief Manufacturing Engineer for Additive Layer Manufacturing, said: “Additive layer manufacturing enables the delivery of complex high-performing assemblies which cannot be manufactured using conventional techniques. For example, these combustor tiles include cooling holes which turn the air through 180 degrees, maximising efficiency whilst reducing emissions.”
Industrialisation of AM within the broader civil aviation sector is expected to gather momentum in the coming years with the AMPOWER Report 2022 forecasting system sales to triple to over 250 million EUR by 2026.
“Having a high-profile company such as Rolls-Royce as a returning customer is really gratifying,” said SLM Solutions CEO Sam O’Leary. “We are committed to forging relationships like these with our team of experts every step of the way, ensuring our customers’ success through close collaboration.”
The SLM 500 is a quad-laser metal system that can integrate lasers independently or in parallel to increase build rates by 90% over twin laser configurations. Machine operator and powder are separated through a closed-loop powder handling strategy with an automated powder sieve and supply. Designed for serial production, the exchangeable build cylinder enables the shortest possible fire to fire times, reducing downtimes of the machine to a minimum.
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