Additively manufactured turbine-based engines and ventilators

Researcher:
Prof. Beni Cukurel | Aerospace Engineering

Categories:

Automation, Mobility and Aerospace | Chemistry and Materials | Medical Devices | Security & Defense

The Technology

In the modern world, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capture an ever-increasing part of our daily operations. This is especially true for small scale UAVs, which are commonly powered by micro-gas turbines. These micro jet engines have thrust rating below 1 kN and have disproportionate cost that varies between 30,000 to 150,000 USD. For both disposable and re-usable platforms, this inflates the system cost dramatically. Moreover, in multi-mission platforms, significant efforts are invested towards prolonging the service life of these small yet expensive engines, and maintenance becomes an important subject, which involves long chain of suppliers and overall work expenditures that have the potential to even surpass the base price of the engine. Instead of relying on these paradigms, extremely cheap limited-life micro-jet engines have the potential to eliminate supply chains, warehousing of replacement parts, maintenance procedures, and all expenses associated with it. However, despite the relatively simple design of a conventional micro-turbojet engine, its manufacturing involves long and costly processes due to presence of numerous parts, different manufacturing methods, logistics of various subcontractors and collaboration of different departments that assemble and qualify the product. Instead of relying on this conventional process, the proposed concept here entails development of a non-conventional engine design that can be additively manufactured in its final topology through a single uninterrupted print that encompasses both the rotating and stationary components. Requiring only a metal printer and an operator, the cost of the engine will be diminished to capital equipment depreciation and raw material, with an expected cost reduced merely to a small fraction of the current engine market prices. Beyond low-cost micro-turbomachines, the concept of pre-assembled printing of rotor stator assemblies with internal hydrostatic bearings is particularly useful to rapidly manufacture turbine-driven ventilator devices

Advantages

  • Allows to rapidly produce simple and cheap units in large numbers
  • Additive manufacturing of pre-assembled units significantly simplifies the manufacturing process
  • Low cost – eliminates need of supply chain

Applications and Opportunities

  • Small-scale single-use jet engines
  • Ventilator machines
arrow Business Development Contacts
Ofer Shneyour
Director of Business Development, ICT