Abstract

Centrifugal compressors have a critical impact on the performance of a jet engine and can be made out of aluminum, steel, or titanium alloy. However, if made out of Ti-6Al-4V, it would be more lightweight than if steel were used and stronger than if aluminum were used. Compressors manufactured using traditional techniques can be relatively expensive to manufacture, therefore, fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF) can help reduce the cost while maintaining structural integrity. FDM/FFF usually prints polylactic acid (PLA) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) layer-by-layer using an extruder with a spool of material feeding into the extruder. Recently, metal-polymer filaments have become commercially available using this same printing apparatus as common “hobby-class” FDM printers. Using FDM with a metal-polymer matrix allows for a lower cost of production because of the intricate designs it can accomplish with little to no machining involved. Even with the benefits of printing a spool of material using FDM, there has been very little research done of Ti-6Al-4V printed in a FDM format. This document records the feasibility of using Ti-6Al-4V for a centrifugal compressor using FDM by incorporating a three-dimensional structured blue light scanner before heat treatments while also analyzing manufacturing capabilities at the tips of blades as well as the base. This analysis is a first-stage to quantify FDM metal print characteristics and properties.

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