May 27, 2010

Delcam to promote adaptive blade repair at Turbo Expo

Delcam will demonstrate adaptive repair of turbine blades at Turbo Expo.

Delcam will demonstrate the use of its software for the adaptive repair of turbine blades at the ASME Turbo Expo to be held in Glasgow from 15th to 17th June. The technique is based on Delcam’s unique combination of expertise in software for both machining and inspection. This has been built up over many years of development of PowerMILL, the world’s leading CAM system for high-speed and five-axis machining, and PowerINSPECT, the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection software.

Adaptive machining allows successful production and repair of the most complex components by using in-process measurement to close the information gaps in the chain of operations.

The most common applications are those where the exact position of a heavy workpiece on the machine tool bed is unknown or when the precise shape of the starting material can vary, for example, when finish machining castings, forgings or large, flexible composite components.

The most challenging adaptive machining operations are those where the precise final shape of the component is unknown. This is needed when repairing turbine blades that have been distorted by the high temperatures in aircraft engines or other components that have been changed from their nominal CAD shape during service.

The initial stage of the process is to measure the blade with the Renishaw probe to determine the extent of its deviation from the nominal CAD data. Then, the morphing functionality in Delcam’s PowerSHAPE hybrid modeller can be used to bring the CAD model into line with the actual geometry. The probe is also used to determine the extent of the weld that needs to be machined away. With these measurements, toolpaths can be generated within PowerMILL that will remove the excess weld without violating the blade shape and without excessive air cutting. A final inspection can then be carried out using Delcam’s On-Machine Verification software to ensure that a smooth transition has been created between the original blade surface and the repaired area.