An invention of engine builders will make it possible to speed up the processing of aircraft engine blades by 15 times

Photo by © UEC

Specialists of Rybinsk company ODK-Saturn have invented a new composition of electrolyte, which will repeatedly reduce the time of polishing gas turbine engine blades – up to 4 minutes, which is significantly less compared to other similar technologies, for example, vibro-abrasive galting or dry electro-polishing, which take from 60 minutes to 8 hours.

The method of electrolyte-plasma polishing of parts has a number of significant advantages – it is speed and cheapness of processing. As an electrolyte, an aqueous solution containing in a certain proportion salts of ammonium sulphate and sodium fluoride is proposed, which allows to apply this automated method for polishing one of the most complex and critical parts – engine turbine blades made of heat-resistant nickel foundry alloys.

The proposed electrolyte composition provides high-quality finishing of the inlet and outlet edges of working blades, nozzle blades of gas turbine engines. Also this method can be used for other special works, when it is necessary to ensure a high class of cleanliness of the surface of the part.

“The electrolyte-plasma polishing method is inexpensive and very fast. All that is needed for electrolyte-plasma polishing is an electric current, a salt solution and a machine. It takes up to 4 minutes per dip. With this polishing process, the surface finish of the treated part increases by 2-3 grades compared to the original part. This is a good promising processing technology,” said Igor Ilyin, Chief Engineer of ODK-Saturn.

The intellectual bank of the company also includes a patent for electrolyte for electrolyte-plasma polishing of parts made of titanium foundry alloys. The application of the method is also being considered for processing parts grown by additive manufacturing.