ELE Case Studies
We specialise in flexible, niche processes which allow us to take on engineering challenges that very few others can manage. We have invested heavily in our technological capability, but it’s also our experience and creative approach that sets us apart from our competitors. So, if you need help in solving complex engineering issues – please get in touch
These are some of the real life challenges that the ELE team have faced.
Case Study 1 – Blade cooling configurations
Recently, ELE was involved in supporting a customer who required specific cooling configurations within a blade. The background to this was, that the customer had designed a blade for a new engine application and decided to go down the route of a ceramic ‘cored’ blade.
It is well known; this is not an inexpensive solution to cooling technology within blades. However, after extensive testing it was found that the core that they had designed was not working as efficiently as they had predicted. On one of our many visits to the Client this came up in conversation and we suggested that we might have a solution to this issue for them. The solution was to introduce STEM (Electro Chemical Process ECM) drilled holes in a specific pattern, with close proximity to allow them to achieve the required cooling that they desired.
Our engineers worked in tandem with their design teams and developed the cooling configuration, designed the tooling, conducted the trials within a 6-month time scale.
After producing the prototypes, using the STEM ECM process, ELE proved the process which allowed the customer to conduct mass air flow tests and realise the cooling efficiencies that they required within the blade.
This was a major success for the customer because, not only did he meet the cooling requirements that he sought, but it also managed to reduce the overall cost of the product. It no longer required costly ceramic cores as the STEM drilled process actually works by putting holes into an unmachined, un-cored castings.
It has to be said that the customer was delighted with the results.
ELE benefited from on-going work and the customer benefited from reduced cost and meeting targeted efficiency on the mass airflow and cooling rates with this design.
Case Study 2 – Cooling Efficiencies
One of our customer approached ELE to ask whether we had any ideas that could help them to increase cooling efficiencies of the STEM (Electro Chemical Process ECM) drilled holes that ELE already produced in their parts.
Upon review, we suggested that we could introduce a Turbulation profile to the holes that could increase the cooling efficiency by at least 25%, but potentially could be twice that.
We deployed our engineers to work with the customer design and engineering teams in order to come up with a profile that could be fitted within the envelope available and produced some prototype patterns.
In combination with the customer we modelled the profiles and came up with what we believed to be the optimum solution for the shape of the cooling hole by increasing the surface area of the holes using the Turbulation profile.
By employing the STEM (ECM) process in an innovative way ELE created a Turbulation pattern that allowed the Gas Turbine Engines to run more efficiently and gave the desired result to the customer by enhancing the cooling within the turbine blades.
The benefit to the customer was that the cost effective and innovative way we achieved an enhancement to an existing blade; something that our customer could offer as a product differentiator to their customers.
The customer has the blades in field trials at the moment and they are said to be performing well. We look forward to receiving additional orders as the programme gathers pace.