Aerospace AMAviation

Safran and SLM Solutions evaluate SLM® for large nose landing gear

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In a joint project, Safran Landing Systems and SLM Solutions tested Selective Laser Melting to produce a component of a nose landing gear for a bizjet. A world-first for a part of this size.

The joint objective of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility to produce a main fitting by the Selective Laser Melting process. The component was therefore redesigned for metal-based additive manufacturing allowing time-saving in the whole process, and significant weight reduction of about 15% of the component. The new design invented by Safran Landing Systems, which meets ambitious resistance and mass reduction objectives, has been patented.

Due to the stringent requirements of this component, which is one of the parts that transfers the loads from the wheel to the aircraft structure and is retracted after take-off, Safran selected the titanium alloy, as it is a material with high mechanical properties, naturally resistant to corrosion, which does not require any surface treatment. Additionally, it helps increasing part durability.

Safran and SLM Solutions evaluate SLM® for large nose landing gear

“We chose SLM Solutions as a partner, because of their expertise and the SLM®800 machine, which exactly meets our requirements in terms of machine size and reliability,” said Thierry Berenger, Additive Manufacturing project leader at Safran Landing Systems.

With a vertically extended build envelope, the SLM®800 is perfectly adapted to produce large components. The machine is equipped with SLM Solutions’ proven quad-laser technology and innovative features, like the patented gas flow and a permanent filter, that ensure the highest reliability.

One of the strengths of the SLM® technology is its flexibility. Design changes can be quickly modified, printed and tested, then less time is spent during the prototype development.

Gerhard Bierleutgeb, EVP Global Services & Solutions at SLM Solutions explained: “Additive manufacturing contributes to saving time in the qualification and certification phases by rapidly providing the parts for testing. We were able to produce the main fitting in few days on the SLM®800, vs few months with the forging process.”

Nose landing gear specs:

  • Measurements: 455x295x805 mm
  • Material: Titanium
  • Machine: SLM®800
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