PhotoMachining wins SBIR grant for turbine rework and repair

Jan. 8, 2010
PhotoMachining (Pelham, NH), a company engaged in high-precision laser micromaching and customer laser system integration, was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Air Force for "Innovative Methods for Automated Controlled Removal of Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBCs) and Bondcoats from Turbine Airfoils for Rework and Repair."

PhotoMachining (Pelham, NH), a company engaged in high-precision laser micromachining and customer laser system integration, was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Air Force for "Innovative Methods for Automated Controlled Removal of Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBCs) and Bondcoats from Turbine Airfoils for Rework and Repair" (see also "Laser additive manufacturing gains strength").

The award is a nine-month effort to develop a laser-based removal process that aggressively removes TBCs from aircraft engine turbine airfoils at high speeds.

Currently TBCs are removed for rework or repair using a combination of autoclave, caustic and acidic solutions, and grit blast. This process is labor intensive, time consuming, waste producing, and is neither consistent nor well controlled. If successful, a Phase II contract will be pursued to commercialize the technology.

This technique also has applications in high-speed hole drilling, coating removal and surface modificationthe potential market for this technology, when developed, is huge.

For more information, go to www.photomachining.com.

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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