ADDITIVELY-MANUFACTURED ENGINE STRUCTURAL COMPONENT WITH INTEGRAL GRID
Publication Date: 2017-Mar-31
The IP.com Prior Art Database
An engine component such as a casing incorporates an integral stiffening grid and is produced by an additive manufacturing process.
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ADDITIVELY-MANUFACTURED ENGINE STRUCTURAL COMPONENT WITH
 An engine component such as a casing incorporates an integral stiffening grid and
is produced by an additive manufacturing process.
 This disclosure relates generally to gas turbine engines such as turbojet, turbofan,
and turboprop/turboshaft engines, as well as derivative marine and industrial power
 A typical gas turbine engine includes one or more rotating shafts which carry
turbomachinery blading which is in turn enclosed by one or more stationary casings of
 These casings carry large structural loads and pressure loads, and surround and
locate components which must be contained at all times. For example in the case of a
failure of rotating turbomachinery, if the broken parts exit the casing it may damage an
airframe or cause injury. Such structures could be described as critical major static
 It is known that engine components, including static casings, can be designed to
have a high strength and stiffness at a light weight by using relatively thin materials
provided with an integral grid of stiffening ribs. One known example of such a structure
has the stiffening ribs arranged in an array of equilateral triangles and is referred to as an
 One problem with integral stiffening ribs is that they are difficult and expensive to
manufacture using conventional methods in which material is removed from a billet or
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from a cast or forged rough workpiece.
 Described herein is a component with an integral grid of reinforcing ribs,
produced by an additive manufacturing process.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The concept may be best understood by reference to the following description
taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures, in which:
 FIG. 1 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a representative aircraft gas turbine
 FIG. 2 is a side view of an exemplary exhaust casing manufactured according to
the principles described herein and suitable for incorporation into the engine of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 3 is an end view of the exhaust casing of FIG. 2;
 FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3; and
 FIG. 5 is a schematic view of an additive manufacturing apparatus.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE CONCEPT
 Illustrated in FIG. 1 is an exemplary turbofan gas turbine engine 10 for powering
an aircraft (not shown) in flight. The engine 10 is intended to be a representative example
of one type of engine that can incorporate static components as described herein.
 The engine 10 is axisymmetrical about a longitudinal or axial centerline axis 12
and has a fan section 14 upstream of a core engine 13. The core engine 13 includes, in
serial flow communication, a multistage axial high pressure compressor 16, an annular
combustor 18, and a high pressure turbine 20 suitably joined to the...