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A new generation of aircraft engine turbine blades that can be produced better, cheaper and faster than traditional components may soon be available to the Air Force.
With support from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program, Virginia-based Mikro Systems Inc. demonstrated a molding technology that allows rapid prototyping of blade designs and shows promise to be applicable to full-scale manufacturing operations.
Mikro Systems worked with Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate to conduct multiple trials of the new technology to produce highly-complex cores and castings. Because of its success, the company attracted a Rapid Innovation Fund award from the Air Force to further industrialize the technology and position it for a transition to the market.
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