EADS and GKN Aerospace to collaborate on laser sintering

August 23, 2011

EADS, the pan-European aerospace and defence organisation based in Filton, UK, has announced that it will collaborate with GKN Aerospace to examine industrialising additive layer manufacturing  (ALM) technology.


Fig. 1 A conventional hinge for the cover

of a jet engine (top) could be replaced

by the more intricate one at bottom,

which has been created by EADS using

additive layer manufacturing, or laser

sintering (courtesy EADS Innovation Works) 

The ALM project will be undertaken in a new £2 million shared facility at Filton and is expected to create up to 30 new engineering jobs and develop a new supply chain of companies in the region. The collaboration will be supported by a £1.96m investment provided through a UK Government Regional Growth Fund grant for the use of ALM in  aerospace applications and also for making parts and accessories for cars.

Ian Risk, Head of EADS Innovation Works UK commented, “This collaboration takes a significant step towards bringing this unique technology into industrial reality. As a more efficient, sustainable process, ALM has the potential to revolutionise industrial manufacturing and secure the UK’s position at the forefront of high tech innovation. EADS and GKN Aerospace are leaders in cutting-edge engineering and technology and we are proud to bring our skills and expertise together to benefit the future of British manufacturing.”

EADS has already used ALM to produce metal hinges for engine covers which allow the covers to swing open for engine maintenance. The new, lighter weight hinge shown in Fig. 1 has been put through the tests used for conventional parts and shown to meet performance requirements. 



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