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Development of Fixture Jig for High-precision Turbine Blade Machining

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.23 No.1

Summary

A machining jig optimized for high-precision machining of turbine blades, which are principal parts in aviation gas turbine engines, was developed. The objective was methods of manufacturing that are high-precision, low-cost, environmentally considerate, and capable of application to mass production.
Turbine blades are airfoil parts with three-dimensional geometry, and they are the most important parts in determining the performance of high-speed engines. They are manufactured by precision casting because they employ large amounts of heat-resistant alloys that are difficult-to-machine materials. The blade attachment part has a special shape and requires high precision, and is therefore finished by precision machining. It used to be that low-melting-point alloys would be poured into a fixture jig, using the airfoil surface geometry as a reference, and the piece would then be machined. However, fixing the blade in place and removing it involved a high-temperature dissolution process, and the labor required for the manual steps made this method unsuitable for mass production.
An alternative material was sought in the recyclable, low-cost resins used in motor vehicles. The resin jigs were in a compact form machined to standards that would allow multiple blocks to be placed on the machining equipment; the material could be formed simply using the insert molding manufacturing process; it possesses the rigidity to allow high-precision machining; removal of the jig after machining would not result in blade deformation; and the resin should be recyclable. Based on experimentation, PPA was selected as the material and adopted for the fixture jig.

Author (organization or company)

Masahiro KIGURE(Fundamental Technology Research Center)、Takeshi MORIOKA(Fundamental Technology Research Center)、Hiroaki HARA(Fundamental Technology Research Center)、Takayuki NOUDOMI(Fundamental Technology Research Center)

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