NEWSLETTER N°3 - June 2013

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 Gas Turbine Engines and MMP TECHNOLOGY®

Tim Bell
VP, Business Development

As the Gas Turbine industry is facing ever-increasing pressure to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency, manufacturers have turned to new technologies and materials to achieve these goals.

MMP TECHNOLOGY® is one of the new technologies being exploited to deliver efficiency improvements. As air flows through an engine, it gets compressed into successively smaller spaces. The surface roughness of the flow-path impacts efficiency more and more as pressure rises. In the past, polishing technologies that could achieve very low levels of roughness were not able to preserve the precise profile of the blade, so manufacturers had to choose between optimum blade shape and optimum surface roughness. With the advent of MMP TECHNOLOGY®, manufacturers can now have the profile their engineers designed and the highly polished surfaces that increase efficiency. Aerodynamicists have always wanted smoother surfaces in the HPC, actually requesting "Hydraulically Smooth" on all of the Blades and Vanes. Unfortunately, traditional surface finishing methods struggle to meet the all of key requirements. The most difficult requirement is to maintain the shape and size of the leading edge of an airfoil. MMP TECHNOLOGY® is the only technology that has the proven ability to produce very low levels of roughness, remove minimal amounts of material, and respect complex geometry and tolerances.

Since the biggest efficiency gains come from smoothing out the airflow in the high pressure part of the engine, MMP TECHNOLOGY® is applied primarily to the components in the HPC (High Pressure Compressor), including Blades, Vanes, and Blisks. Surfaces treated with MMP TECHNOLOGY® essentially increase the airflow in the sections of the engine where the flow-path is more constricted.

MMP TECHNOLOGY® can produce roughness levels less than 1 micro inch Ra, and it achieves consistent results from batch to batch. This roughness level has traditionally been reserved for luxury goods, injection molds, and optical components, but since MMP TECHNOLOGY® can cost effectively and consistently produce this level of finishing on production components, it is becoming an accepted new technology in the aerospace field. First certified in 2004 by a European gas turbine manufacturer, MMP TECHNOLOGY® is now also certified by a major North American gas turbine manufacturer.

MMP TECHNOLOGY® can be tested, dialed-in, and ready for production in as little as 3-4 weeks from the start of a project, so the time to production can quickly adapt to the fast reaction required by the supply chain.

 MicroTek Finishing and BESTinCLASS Announcements:

MicroTek Finishing is pleased to announce that in April of 2013, it achieved certification to the AS9100:2009 Rev C Quality Management System for Aviation, Space and Defense organizations. Certification to this standard demonstrates MicroTek Finishing's commitment to continuous improvement in quality, delivery performance and customer satisfaction. The AS9100 quality standard is based on ISO 9001, adding stringent requirements specific to the aviation, space and defense industries. Registration to the ISO 9001 Quality Standard is also included in the AS9100 Certification.

With this announcement, MicroTek Finishing adds to its current ISO 13485:2003 quality system certification for medical devices to build upon its position as the North American exclusive provider of the Micro Machining Process (MMP TECHNOLOGY®) for controlling the surface roughness of manufactured components and assemblies.

In the same time, BESTinCLASS, the exclusive provider of MMP TECHNOLOGY® in France and Switzerland, is proud to announce that it has been certified by a major Gas Turbine maker for the surface treatment of its parts in Europe.

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