Compressor Blade

Achieving efficiency in aero engine design

The aero engine compressors have thousands of blades, each 25 – 200 mm. As modern compressor blade designs create thinner and more twisted airfoils, the bar for precision continues to rise.

Even the tiniest imperfection on the surface or a variation in the profile of a compressor blade or vane can adversely affect airflow, impair blade performance, and lower engine efficiency. Global production of these parts is in millions per year, as is the number returning for MRO, so having the proper measurement and inspection solutions is critical to a smooth production process.

Quality gates along the compressor blade production process

Building quality is a vital part of the compressor blade manufacturing process. With millions of parts in production each year, each with very short cycle times, there could soon be a lot of non-conformances without careful monitoring within your process. The ZEISS quality solutions enable our aerospace customers to put the right piece of equipment on the shopfloor at the point of manufacture and provide real-time feedback with software tools where customers need it most.

Click through all processes steps

  • Forging process

    It's incredible the impact modern tools and analysis can have on traditional processes like forging to make step changes in productivity and levels of right-first time.

    The challenge
    The die for the forging process is of paramount importance to the production of the compressor blade. Ensuring the die and subsequent blades are conforming is where ZEISS technologies come in.

    Our solution
    ZEISS technologies are great for digitally capturing and analyzing in 2D and 3D the conformity of the blades and the life and wear of the die.

  • Milling rough shape

    Given there can be some variability from the forging, the rough milling of the blade before final blade machining is a critical part of the process!

    The challenge
    Rough milling is a fast process in harsh conditions, leaving a similar challenge for measurement and inspection.

    Our solution
    Within the ZEISS technology range, shop floor equipment is designed to meet the needs of speed and handle challenging environments on the shop floor.

  • Final machining

    The airfoil edges with the proper radii for performance, the root form for fit to the compressor disc, and the airfoil tip to ensure no leakage of compressed gas.

    The challenge
    The final machining is a fast process with small tolerances on many critical features—the type of process that demands a high-end solution.

    Our solution
    The ZEISS PRISMO fortis is the go-to machine to meet the challenges of the final machined compressor blade.

  • Validation

    Regulatory and OEM requirements like AS9102 or AS13003 are necessary, stringent, and comprehensive to fulfill.

    The challenge
    The compressor blade has an extensive set of validation requirements to demonstrate airworthiness.

    Our solution

    • High-accuracy tactile, optical, and microscopy solutions to fulfill thousands of characteristics necessary to validate.
    • ZEISS Quality Suite helps to compile the results in an effective way.
    • Specific software like ZEISS INSPECT Airfoil enables the efficient qualification of every characteristic on part drawings or other standards.

Maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO)

Once the engine is in operation, it will undergo regular inspection and maintenance. As airlines aim to increase the intervals between each maintenance visit, modern 3D metrology can help MRO shops extend the compressor blades' life or reduce the time required for each service visit.
Defects on compressor blades

Numerous types of defects can occur in a compressor blade. Defects can appear in different blade zones (A, B, C), on different sides of the airfoil (convex or concave), and on different types of edges (leading or trailing). Defects include undersize chord, reduced thickness, and roughening of the blade surface, but also problems such as

Dimension faults

  • Corrosion and wear on the blade.
  • Dents or nicks on the blade surface.
  • Gross deformation and creep compared to the blade's original condition.

Contact us

Would you like to learn more about our solutions for industries? We are happy to provide more information or a demo.

Do you need more information?

Get in touch with us. Our experts will get back to you.

Form is loading...

/ 4
Next Step:
  • Interest Inquiry
  • Personal Details
  • Company Details

If you want to have more information on data processing at ZEISS please refer to our data privacy notice.