Le Bourget. June 19, 2017. Safran Power Units has crossed a new milestone in the field of additive manufacturing by obtaining the first certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for an auxiliary power unit (APU) major part made by additive manufacturing. This certification paves the way for its mass production.
The certified part is the turbine nozzle for the eAPU60 that is manufactured by Selective Laser Melting (SLM) using hastelloy X, a nickel-based material. Conventionally machined by inconel casting, the 3D printed part is now 35% lighter and is now comprised of only four components, versus eight prior to the new manufacturing technique.
This certification is the result of intensive endurance tests at very high temperatures on a test bench at the Safran Power Units site in Toulouse. An extensive material testing campaign, conducted by the Safran companies, also contributed to preparing the certification submission.