Safran Power Units, Amaero Engineering and Monash University announce a strategic partnership to deliver 3D printing aerospace components

Melbourne’s 3D jet engine technology flies into production in France
Launch at the Australian Embassy in Paris, France, November 8, 2016

Wednesday 9 November, 2016

French aerospace company Safran Power Units has signed an agreement with Australia's Amaero Engineering and Monash University to print aerospace components.

"We will make components for auxiliary power units and turbojet engines within the Safran Power Units factory in Toulouse," said Mr Barrie Finnin, CEO of Monash spin-out company Amaero. 

Amaero will provide Safran Power Units two machines to set up a manufacturing capacity in Toulouse using a 3D printing technology known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM). They'll bring know-how and intellectual property and relocate two of their large printers to Toulouse.

The Monash University and Amaero team have customised the printers so that they can meet the tight material and production specifications required by Safran Power Units for engine parts.

Safran Power Units is in charge of designing the components. Amaero will manufacture them. Safran Power Units will post-process, machine and assemble them into gas turbines. Safran Power Units will test, validate and certify the components before entering into serial production, which will commence in 2017.

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In 2015, Monash University, Amaero and Safran Power Units presented the ‘world's first printed jet engine mock up' at the Melbourne International Airshow. Supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) and in collaboration with Deakin University and the CSIRO, Team took a Safran Power Units gas turbine from a Falcon 20 executive jet, scanned it and created two copies using their customised 3D metal printers. The project demonstrated that both partners could meet tough requirements for major and critical components used in APUs and other gas turbines such as combustion chamber, air inlet casing and nozzle. Safran Power Units has already entered into certification process for such critical parts, thus allowing quick serial production ramp up.

Monash University's Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure) Professor Ian Smith said that the Amaero-Safran agreement is an excellent example of the University's exceptional research having commercial impact on a global scale:

"I am delighted that Monash is contributing to global innovation and attracting business investment with our world-class research. The Amaero-Safran collaboration is a fabulous example of how universities and industry can link together to translate research into real commercial outcomes," Professor Smith said.

"The new venture is part of Monash University's large-scale investment in innovation on our Clayton campus, which brings together a dynamic cluster of research, research infrastructure and industry partners. Collectively we and our industry collaborators are driving technological change and advancing manufacturing – delivering real social and economic impact."

"Safran Power Units supported us from the beginning of our journey. We proved that our team were world-leaders," said Professor Xinhua Wu, Director of the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing. "I'm delighted to see our technology leap from the laboratory to a factory at the heart of Europe's aerospace industry in Toulouse," Professor Wu said.

 "Over the past 5 years, Safran Power Units and Monash University have successfully worked on a demonstration phase. Innovations generated by research and joint collaboration lead us to a new milestone: introducing 3D printing into production stage for major engine parts. We are committed to add tangible value to our products for the benefit of our customers. The stakes are high: weight reduction, huge production cycles shortening and designs innovation.  Safran Group advances and our partner leading-edge expertise allow us to stay ahead and to supply the most sophisticated components. This is not just a matter of 3D printing, the 3P rule applies: setting the right parameter for the right part and the right expected performance" declared François Tarel, CEO of Safran Power Units.

Meanwhile, back in Australia Amaero and Monash are turning their aerospace expertise to assist Australian industries – from car components to mining, and food processing. They're working on a wide range of biomedical devices including customised surgical tools and scaffolds to replace large tumours removed in surgery.

The development and commercialisation of this advanced 3D metal printing technology has been supported by Monash University, Safran Power Units, and the Australian government through the Entrepreneurs' program, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and other agencies. CSIRO and Deakin University are also participants in the original engine printing project supported by SIEF (Science Industry Endowment Fund) which continues to provide valuable data and software tools.

Further information including photographs and HD footage of printing, engines, and production lines visit http://www.amaero.com.au/

 

For interviews contact:
For Amaero: Niall Byrne, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au, +61 417 131-977
For Safran Power Units: Angélique Brandan, angelique.brandan@safrangroup.com,
T +33 561-37-78-56, M +33 6-75 68-59-97
For Monash: Claire Bowers, claire.bowers@monash.edu, T +61 3 9905 4218, m: +61 438 971 837

Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 70,000 employees and generated sales of 17.4 billion euros in 2015. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index, as well as the Euro Stoxx 50 European index.

Safran Power Units designs and manufactures auxiliary power units (APU) and starting systems for civil and military aircraft, as well as turbojet engines for missiles and target drones. It is a world leader in its market, with over 21,000 systems delivered worldwide.

For more information: www.safran-group.com and safran-power-units.com / Follow @Safran on Twitter 

 

Amaero

Amaero Additive Manufacturing was established by Monash University in 2013.

Amaero manufactures components for a range of global companies and SME's in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Through its power partnership with Monash University Centre for Additive Manufacturing, Amaero offers great depth of technical knowledge and broad capability and has experience in dealing with sensitive projects including ITAR and classified defence projects.

 

Monash University

Monash University is named after the engineer, military leader and public administrator Sir John Monash, whose application of engineering on the Western Front in 1918 helped bring the war to an end.

From a single campus at Clayton in 1961with fewer than 400 students, Monash has grown into a network of campuses, education centres and partnerships spanning the globe. With approximately 60,000 students (and 250,000 alumni) from over 170 countries, we are today Australia's largest university.

The University now offers a broad selection of courses within 10 faculties: Art, Design and Architecture; Arts; Business and Economic; Education; Engineering; Information Technology; Law; Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Science.

 

Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing

The Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing takes fundamental research from a broad range of disciplines and applies them to manufacturing challenges. These disciplines include material science, alloy design and processing, surface engineering, corrosion and hybrid materials.

We work with partners to invent bespoke solutions to unique manufacturing challenges. Using our network with the research centres situated in the Clayton precinct and our broader Australian and international network, we are able to draw on a number of different cutting edge capabilities and expertise and apply them in novel and innovative ways to provide new opportunities for manufacturers.

Combining for strength
The Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing takes their most recent discoveries in alloy and metallurgical science and find ways to apply them in real world applications – working with partners who need stronger, lighter, more cost effective components. Our global aerospace industry partnerships are profiting from their relationship with us, as we:

  • Provide bespoke solutions
  • Create solutions to reduce the carbon footprint
  • Manufacture new designs and complex geometries
  • Produce new materials with improved balanced properties to achieve higher fuel efficiency and performance
  • Increase their global competitiveness
  • Design new processes to reduce manufacturing waste

 

Additive manufacturing (3D printing)

3D printing has been used since the 1980s by the aerospace industry, usually to produce prototypes. With more complex, expensive printing machines being built in recent years (such as those with lasers to melt metal powders – used by MCAM), more opportunities for different materials and therefore different applications are opening up. Printing in metals has its challenges, including the high temperatures required and safety issues that accompany them.

A SmarTech report (http://smartechpublishing.com/blog/white-paper-additive-manufacturing-in-aerospace-strategic-implications) suggested the main benefits to the aerospace industry are: reduction in lead time (the time between the beginning and completion of a project/process); reducing the weight of parts; reducing operational and production costs; and reducing impact on the environment from production processes – though the actualities may not meet some expectations.

Some designs that might require multiple parts to be created and then fused are able to be printed in one piece, and designs easily tweaked. Materials waste can reportedly be reduced by as much as 90 per cent – which means a significant saving when using expensive materials such as titanium. There is also the benefit of being able to print parts on an as-needed basis rather than stockpiling replacements, and cutting the need for moulds and tools.

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