Liebherr Achieves EASA Approval for its 3D Printed Flex Shaft: A Milestone for Aviation Technology

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Liebherr-Aerospace, located in Toulouse, France, has reached a significant achievement in additive manufacturing with the authorization of a titanium flex shaft for Airbus. This component, noteworthy for its complexity, is set to commence serial production after receiving the green light from Airbus and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Employing Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) technology, Liebherr has successfully combined what were previously seven separately manufactured parts into a single additively manufactured unit. This innovation not only boosts the component’s reliability but also substantially lightens its weight.

Designed for the Airbus A350 high lift system, the flex shaft will be implemented within the active differential gearbox of the wing flap system. Its primary role is to convey rotational movements to a position sensor, thus accounting for any disparities in angle and axis alignment between the gearbox and the sensor.

Liebherr-Aerospace has utilized additive manufacturing in aerospace applications for many years. In 2019, they launched mass production of a 3D-printed proximity sensor bracket for the A350’s nose landing gear. This was the first Airbus system component approved for titanium additive manufacturing.

The introduction of the flex shaft, a more complex component, represents a significant step forward in Liebherr’s additive manufacturing, allowing for the creation of more integrated aerospace systems.

Source: metal-am.com

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