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Naval Group, a French company focusing on naval defence, and Centrale Nantes engineering school have 3D printed the first hollow propeller blade demonstrator. Sirenha, a Centrale Nantes spin-off and subsidiary of Naval Group, helmed the design of the blade. It was manufactured using the Wire Arc for Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) process.
The blades were produced with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of ships, as part of the Horizon 2020 (H2020) project, RAMSSES (Realization and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships).
Goal - Program - RAMSSES - Benefits - Solutions
The goal of the collaborative program RAMSSES is to demonstrate the benefits of advanced material solutions in shipbuilding for environmentally efficient ship designs. With funding from the European Commission, Centrale Nantes and Naval Group are leading the project on the production of innovative propeller demonstrators to improve the operational capabilities of ships.
Patrice Vinot, Propeller Package Manager for the RAMSSES project, explained that “Although additive manufacturing is increasingly present in industry, the programming and design of complex parts, such as propeller blades for ships, represents a considerable challenge for our teams and our partners.”
PART - IN - PROJECTS - SUCH - RAMSSES
“TAKING PART IN PROJECTS SUCH AS RAMSSES AND COORDINATING OUR NETWORK OF ACADEMIC AND INDUSTRIAL PARTNERS WILL ALLOW US TO BRING 3D PRINTING INTO SHIPYARDS FOR THE LONG TERM.”
An image of the propeller blade demonstrator. Photo via Naval Group.
WAAM - Process - Welding - Arm - Arc
The WAAM process applies a robotic welding arm which uses an electric arc plasma beam on metal wire feedstock to fabricate 3D objects. This process also has the ability to print on existing surfaces such as the center of a propeller.
Centrale Nantes and Naval Group are specifically using metal additive manufacturing to improve the vessel propulsion of ships. The WAAM process has enabled the design and production of large parts (propellers of 6 metres in diameter) with a complex geometry, something which could not...
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