Increased Range/Mini-Cruise Missile
NATIONAL CENTER FOR DEFENSE MANUFACTURING AND MACHINING LATROBE PA
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Technical Directions Inc. TDI, Ortonville, Michigan, was asked by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force to improve the efficiency of their J-45 missile engine for the NLOS-LS LAM Loitering Attack Missile. The ultimate goal is to improve the overall engine efficiency by 8 percent, thereby reducing fuel consumption for the propulsion system, allowing for both increased vehicle payload andor increased vehicle range. The newly designed compressor wheel requires very thin blades and a higher blade complement for optimum flow guidance with minimal flow losses. These requirements eliminate the investment casting of the compressor wheel, replacing it with the fully machined compressor wheel. The complex passages within the wheel require tolerances within .001 inch, and blade thicknesses in the .010 inch range. Realizing this challenge, TDI requested the help of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining NCDMM to meet these heightened manufacturing goals. The NCDMM reviewed the drawings along with solid model files and determined that due to the time constraint and part complexity, specialized programming software would be needed to produce machine code for machining the compressor wheel. The NCDMM contacted Moore Tool Co., to assist with this project. Moore Tool recommended that the firm, Concepts NREC, program the finish machining paths of the compressor wheel. CNC SoftwareMasterCam was utilized to program the rough machining paths. Due to price and availability of the requested material, TDI and NCDMM decided to manufacture the test wheels from two types of aluminum material. The results would then be used to determine justification of cost. Moore Tool machined the compressor wheels using their FSP-300X 5-axis machine utilizing high-speed 5-axis machining technology. The cooperative effort between TDI and NCDMM resulted in an increase of up to 5 in vehicle efficiency with additional efficiency gains expected with further development.
- Fabrication Metallurgy
- Hydraulic and Pneumatic Equipment
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
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