A blisk, or ”bladed disk”, is an aero-engine component that carries a lot of value in engine performance and energy consumption. Also known as an ”integrally bladed rotor”, blisks have soared in popularity due to the benefits they contribute to the development of modern jet engines. Fewer components and reduced weight dispose of high-drag blade locations and fixings, giving engines an 8% increase in efficiency. Because of its role in compression in the engine, its design and shape demand high-level accuracy to measure the surface profile, locators and fixing holes to prevent imbalances and ultimately engine failure.
ATOS 5 for Airfoil combined with the ATOS ScanBox is the answer to manage the complexity in an efficient measuring procedure for blisks, drums and integrally bladed rotors (IBR). The GOM measuring procedure is well defined, predictable and unfazed by the number of sections, points or special geometries on parts during inspection. ATOS technology enhances every stage of blisk production with full-field data and faster, more reliable processes.
Measuring blisks is highly complicated, due to their complex shape and machining techniques (e.g. CNC machining, linear friction welding) using particular combinations to achieve the desired characteristics, throughput and costs. Each blisk consists of a slim surface profile and multiple aerofoils with exotic sizes, shapes and twists. Every curvature and edge exposed on a blisk requires highly-accurate measurements to ensure proper distribution of energy and optimal engine performance, especially with regard to locator and fixing hole geometries. Optical measuring techniques provide the accuracy and flexibility that OEMs need without marking a part, overshooting with a probe or slowing scanning techniques for intricate details.
ATOS 5 for Airfoil is the industry-trusted sensor for blisk measurement. Our capabilities with the ATOS 5 for Airfoil have demonstrated blisk edge geometry measurements as small as 0.060 mm radius, with outstanding resolution and more than 20 points used as part of the edge radius calculation. ATOS scanners provide highly accurate data for manual and automated applications while their optimized measurement positions and stability makes them an incredibly reliable measurement solution. This technology captures every curve and edge geometry with multi-axis blue-light sensors and full-field data to produce reliable and comprehensive quality control of blisks, drums and other IBRs.
The machining process for blisks is long while the desired speed for measurement is as short as possible. This clash in circumstances puts stress on manufacturers to produce high-quality blisk products at a speed that keeps up with the ever-increasing demand of the aerospace market. CMMs can take hours to inspect parts and run the risk of overshooting measurements, losing speed, time and accuracy in the process. Due to the long machining time, OEMs are increasingly opting to choose automated optical measurement solutions that deliver fast, reliable and repeatable results in minutes rather than hours, like ATOS sensors.
ATOS technology uses full-field data which means it uses every part of the data scanned from an entire blisk; everything it can see, it can measure. Using this technique does not impact the number of airfoil sections required by the customer, designer or drawing. ATOS systems provide an incredibly detailed picture of current manufacturing standards with high-resolution 3D measuring data and vivid color maps to better understand and uncover hidden errors within quality processes. With repeatability tests below 5 microns (0.005 mm) and single blisk measurement times of less than an hour, ATOS measuring systems and software shorten manufacturing times and increase the overall throughput of blisk time-to-market.
Blisk inspection during production comes with its own set of requirements, but once it enters service conditions for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), different specifications make the inspection process more difficult. Any damage that occurs to blades on blisks or IBRs requires the complete removal of the engine so that the rotor can be replaced or new blades can be welded on. Plus, typical maintenance cannot be performed on the flight line and must be done at a specialized facility. With such a costly and arduous process, blisk manufacturers need inspection systems and software that combine faster speed and intuitive technology to lengthen the life cycle of blisks and shorten the downtime due to repair jobs.
ATOS 5 for Airfoil measures detailed quality information of new products or components from maintenance or repair at a significantly reduced measuring time. Its greatest strength is its measurement speed. 3D scanning times of about one hour for blisks result from data acquisition in less than a fifth of a second for this multi-sensor system. ATOS technology highlights multiple points of inspection that help identify errors, wear and tear, dents and scratches with fast data capture and high-quality meshes.
The optimized measurement positions of the ATOS systems enable them to be unaffected by the number of airfoils or the number of airfoil sections on a part. ATOS is used as part of a repair sequence of single or multiple blades using its full-field data acquisition. Once data points are collected within the software, unique tool paths for adding or subtracting material are automatically applied to produce the desired shapes. This is used in repair applications to replace the tips or sometimes the whole airfoil.
The combination of ATOS hardware and software provides an all-inclusive solution for reducing lifecycle costs and increasing the lifespan of blisks and IBRs.