A full-scale propeller blade demonstrator for military applications using 3D printing

Naval Group and Centrale Nantes have printed the first full-scale propeller blade demonstrator for military applications using additive manufacturing. Within the framework of the Joint Laboratory of Marine Technology* launched in 2016, Naval Group and Centrale Nantes teams have printed a large geometrically complex propeller blade weighing over 300 kg.

A full-scale propeller blade demonstrator for military applications using 3D printing
With additive manufacturing it is possible to design parts that could not be made previously with standard production technologies. This disruptive technology deposits (adds) material as opposed to subtracting it by machining. By lifting the limits imposed by traditional processes, these technologies pave the way for innovative parts design and assembly, and thus for the production of propellers providing greater efficiency for ships at sea: performance (autonomy and propulsion), stealth and lightening.

Vincent Geiger, Director of Naval Group’s Naval Research Technology Research Center, stressed the significance of these initial results:

Printing this demonstrator is a major step towards the manufacture of innovative propellers by additive manufacturing. These initial results mean that it’s possible to envisage the short-term commissioning of differentiated propellers for the ships that will use them.

Professor Jean-Yves Hascoët, who heads up the Rapid Manufacturing Platform at Centrale Nantes, in the GeM laboratory (UMR CNRS 6183), is an international expert in additive manufacturing. He explained that:

additive manufacturing is a process that offers unlimited possibilities: less material used, integration of additional features and geometrically-complex parts assembly. It allows for new designs, weight savings, lower manufacturing costs.

Centrale Nantes has the industrial means and the extensive expertise in trajectory generation and additive manufacturing required for blade production.

*Joint Laboratory of Maritime Technology: The Joint Laboratory of Maritime Technology was created in 2016. It is a joint industry / research laboratory whose general objective is to pool the academic and industrial expertise of Centrale Nantes, the University of Nantes and Naval Group in order to generate qualified innovation for Naval Group’s industrial applications in the field of military shipbuilding.

Companies: Centrale Nantes

Industries: Marine Transportation and Shipbuilding

Technologies: Other Processing Method

Terms: Applications, Innovations, News Worldwide

This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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