DRDO develops Critical Near Isothermal Forging Technology for aeroengines
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Science & Technology
1st Jun, 2021
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the near isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of high-pressure compressors (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy using its unique 2000 MT isothermal forge press.
- This technological breakthrough was achieved by the DRDO’s premier metallurgical laboratory, the Hyderabad-based Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL).
- It involved developing complex titanium and nickel-based alloys that can withstand temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius
- With this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero engine components.
- DMRL has transferred the technology to M/s MIDHANI through a licensing agreement for technology transfer (LAToT) to meet the bulk production requirements.
- It will be jointly produced and successfully supplied to the HAL, Bengaluru for fitment into Adour engine that powers the Jaguar and Hawk aircrafts.
- Apart from DMRL and HAL (E), various agencies such as MIDHANI, CEMILAC and DGAQA worked in unison to establish this crucial technology.
Importance of this technology
- In India, the Adour engine is overhauled by HAL (E), Bengaluru under a licensed manufacturing agreement with OEM.
- Like in any aero engine, the high value HPC drum assembly needs to be replaced after a specified number of operations or in the case of damage which is quite large and expensive.
- A HPC drum is a highly stressed sub-assembly and is also subjected to low cycle fatigue and creep at elevated temperatures. The raw materials and forgings for the HPC drum are required to be of the highest quality which can meet the specified combination of static and dynamic mechanical properties.
- The methodology adopted by DMRL is generic in nature and can be tuned to develop other similar aero-engine components.
- DRDO is the R&D wing of Ministry of Defence.
- It aims to empower India with cutting-edge defence technologies and a mission to achieve self-reliance in critical defence technologies and systems.
- DRDO was formed in 1958 from the amalgamation of the then already functioning Technical Development Establishment (TDEs) of the Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) with the Defence Science Organisation (DSO).
- Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) is responsible for the development of advanced metallic and ceramic materials, and related processing technologies, for various critical defence applications.
- The developments at DMRL have led to creation of new nationally important technology and production centres in the country.
- They are – Mishra Dhatu Nigam (Midhani), Non-Ferrous Technology Development Centre (NFTDC) and International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), all at Hyderabad and Heavy Alloy Penetrator Project (HAPP), an Ordnance Factory, at Tiruchirapally.