Engineered for performance

A bladed disk, also called a ‘blisk’ or integrated blade rotor (IBR), consists of blades machined into a rotor disk to form a single part. Bladed disks are mainly used in high-pressure compressors, and increasingly in low pressure compressors including the fan blades. Newer bladed disk designs include so-called ‘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 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 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. Our customers are increasingly opting to choose ZEISS solutions to deliver the fast, reliable and repeatable results in minutes rather than hours.

Stock cylindrical metal. Colored to show grain size and direction of metal domains with an image from a microscope to the top left of the cylinder.

Billet or Forging disc

The blisk starts as a raw material, forged hub and sometimes individual airfoils.

The challenge

The interity of the raw material is critical to the the final product. The material, composition and purity must be checked. In the case of forgings the material shape has to be measured for conformity.

Our solution

  • ZEISS Industrial Microscopy solutions are the perfect compliment to the production of raw materials, checking their metallurgical composition
  • ZEISS ScanBox offers full field measurement and inspection for forgings
Initial Forging of the hipstem from stock material. Voids in blue to show possible defects in forging process. Magnified voids above the stem.

Disc and Hub Machining

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

The challenge

Measuring precision bores, as well as weight relief grooves which may not have direct access in an accurate and timely manner.

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
Forged stem shown to show flashing form the forging process. Would be as received part from the supplier.

Linear Friction Welding

The process of adding pre-forged blades to the disc hub body by means of mechanical rubbing is a common technique which has specific quality requirements.

The challenge

Inherently of a welding process, there is excess material at the position between the root of the airfoil as it connects to the disc which necessitates further machining.

Our solution

  • ATOS ScanBox is the only way to ensure 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.
Stem further processed. Image above shows microscope image of debris on filter. From cleaning processed part.

Airfoil Machining

Whether it's full machining from stock material, or blending a linear friction welded airfoil, the airfoil machining is a very time consuming process which has huge importance to the performance of the engine.

The challenge

The airfoil geometries are getting more and more complex, more twisted and sharper edges, factory floor space is at a premium, and production rates are high demanding faster measurement times.

Our solution

  • ZEISS solutions are fast, accurate, optical and tactile solutions which are compact to meet the demands of our customers. Whether the solution is tactile scanning or 3D data capture, the answer is a ZEISS solution.
Mostly processed stem. Lines describing nominal lengths. Image above to show stylus making contact with the part to measure said dimensions.

Final Validation

Regulatory and OEM requirements like AS9102 or AS13003 are necessary, stringent and comprehensive to fulfil.

The challenge

There are extensive validation requirements on a blisk with complimentary solutions needed to fulfil all requirements.

Our solution

  • High-accuracy tactile, optical and microscopy solutions to fulfil thousands of characteristics necessary to validate
  • ZEISS Quality Suite helps to compile the results in an effective way
  • Specific software like Blade Inspect Pro enables to qualify every characteristic on part drawings or other standards in an efficient manner

Repair and Overhaul

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.

Do you need more information about Blisks?

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