3D printed landing gear is 15% lighter
The main fitting for the front landing gear of a business jet 3D printed from a titanium alloy in a quad-laser SLM 800 powder bed additive manufacturing machine at SLM Solutions in Lübeck.
(Credit: SLM Solutions)
Safran Landing Systems, a 100% subsidiary of the French multinational aerospace company Safran SA (Paris, France) and supplier of landing gear, has joined forces with German metallurgy additive manufacturing equipment specialist SLM Solutions (Lübeck, Germany) to assess the feasibility of using its technology to produce large aircraft components critical to safety.
The test involved 3D printing the main nose landing gear fitting of a business jet layer by layer from titanium alloy powder by selective laser fusion, a world first for such a large piece measuring 455 × 295 × 805 mm high. The component has been redesigned to optimize production using metal powder bed additive manufacturing, resulting in time savings in the manufacturing process and significant weight reduction of around 15% compared to milling the machine. part from a forging.
Due to the strict requirements placed on this component, which is one of the elements of the landing gear that transfers the load from the front wheel to the aircraft structure and is retracted after take-off, titanium is the ideal material. due to its good mechanical properties, durability, and corrosion resistance without the need for surface treatment. SLM Solutions was chosen as a partner because of its expertise and the availability of an SLM 800 machine at its factory in Lübeck, which exactly met the requirements in terms of size and reliability.
In a vertically extended construction envelope, the machine is equipped with quad-laser technology from SLM Solutions and other innovative features such as a patented gas flow system and a permanent filter, which ensure high reliability. One of the strengths of SLM technology is its flexibility. Design changes can be quickly made and changes printed and tested, reducing the time spent on prototype development.
Gerhard Bierleutgeb, EVP Global Services & Solutions at SLM Solutions explains, “We were able to achieve this main connection in a few days on the SLM 800, whereas it would take a few months with a traditional process based on forging. ”