Rolls-Royce Trent XWB: With titanium into the future
13. August 2018
The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB is one of the world’s most advanced jet engines. An important optimisation compared to other models are the one-metre-high Outlet Guide Vanes (OGVs) made of titanium – a material that offers a higher resistance to abrasion compared to the more commonly used fibre composites.
However, titanium is heavier than a fibre composite. The solution: to design a hollow construction offering the same safety and stability as a solid construction.
A particular challenge is the low-distortion and rework-free welding of the end cover on the hollow body, because the component is 1 m long but the titanium used only 1 mm thick.
To overcome this problem, RR turned to Photon during the development stage. Using very high welding speeds, even for the rounded corners, the Photon laser experts were able to apply the covers with low tolerances.
During the production of the OGVs, Photon was responsible for the engineering and the 3D laser-beam cutting and welding of the components. And it turned out to be an important contribution: the innovation was adopted in the serial production of the engine.
The project XWB shows: Photon goes through thick and thin for its customers – literally.
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