Engineered for performance

A bladed disk, also known as a 'blisk' or integrated blade rotor (IBR), is a component that consists of blades that are machined into a rotor disk to form a single part. These disks are primarily used in high-pressure compressors and, increasingly, in low-pressure compressors, including fan blades. More recent designs of bladed disks include what is known as 'blums': a combination of several bladed disks on a drum with multiple stages. Measuring bladed rotors is highly complicated due to their exotic sizes, shapes, and special machining techniques, including unique combinations to achieve the desired characteristics. However, ZEISS solutions can meet all of these demands.

Quality gates along the blisk production process

The processes for manufacturing blisks are a high investment and long while the desired speed for measurement is as short as possible. This clash in the circumstances stresses manufacturers to produce high-quality blisk products at a speed that keeps up with the ever-increasing aerospace market demand. Our customers are increasingly choosing ZEISS solutions to deliver fast, reliable, and repeatable results in minutes rather than hours.

Click through all processes steps

  • Billet or forging disc

    The blick starts as raw material, a forged hub, or sometimes as individual airfoils.

    The challenge
    The integrity of the raw material is critical to the final product. The material, composition, and purity must be checked. When it comes to forgings, it is crucial to measure the material shape to ensure that it complies with the required specifications.

    Our solution

    • ZEISS industrial microscopy solutions are the perfect complement to the production of raw materials, checking their metallurgical composition.
    • ZEISS ScanBox offers full-field measurement and forging inspection.
  • Disc and hub machining

    Creating the interface and weight relief features for the compressor blisk is a high-accuracy activity.

    The challenge
    It can be challenging to measure precision bores and weight relief grooves accurately and promptly due to their limited accessibility.

    Our solution

    • For high accuracy needs, the ZEISS PRISMO Family is perfect. The integrated rotary table reduces measuring cycle times significantly.
    • For the surface finish, ZEISS ROTOS sensors can accurately determine roughness.
  • Linear friction welding

    Adding pre-forged blades to the disc hub body using mechanical rubbing is a common technique with specific quality requirements.

    The challenge
    In the inherent nature of a welding process, excess material is at the position between the root of the airfoil as it connects to the disc, necessitating further machining.

    Our solution

    • The ATOS ScanBox ensures a flawless blend and transition between the airfoil and the annulus surface on the blisk is to measure the data in 3D and pass data to third-party adaptive machining processes.
  • Airfoil machining

    Whether full machining from stock material or blending linear friction-welded airfoil, airfoil machining is a time-consuming process that tremendously impacts the engine's performance.

    The challenge
    Airfoil geometries are becoming increasingly complex, with more twisted and sharper edges. Factory floor space is at a premium, and production rates are high, demanding faster measurement times.s.

    Our solution

    • ZEISS solutions are fast, accurate, optical, and tactile, and they are compact to meet our customers' demands. Whether the solution is tactile scanning or 3D data capture, the answer is a ZEISS solution.
  • Final validation

    Regulatory and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) requirements like AS9102 or AS13003 are necessary, stringent, and comprehensive to fulfill.

    The challenge
    Extensive validation requirements on a blisk with complementary solutions are needed to fulfill all requirements.

    Our solution

    • High-accuracy tactile, optical, and microscopy solutions fulfill thousands of characteristics that are necessary to validate.
    • ZEISS Quality Suite helps compile results effectively.
    • Specific software like ZEISS INSPECT Airfoil efficiently qualifies every characteristic on part drawings or other standards.

Repair and overhaul

Blisk inspection during production has its own set of requirements. However, different specifications make the inspection process more complicated during maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). Any damage to blades on blisks or IBR requires complete engine removal so that the rotor can be replaced, or new blades can be welded on. Additionally, typical maintenance cannot be performed on the flight line and must be carried out at a specialized facility. Due to the expensive and laborious process, blisk manufacturers need inspection systems and software that combine faster speed and intuitive technology to increase the lifespan of blisks and reduce downtime caused by repair jobs.

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