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New GE Blue Arc superfast machining for superalloy metals

GE has announced the development of GE Blue Arc™ technology, a ‘superman’ of machining technologies, which can cut through tough engineering alloys used in aircraft engines and power generation turbines in just a fraction of the time it takes to use conventional milling processes (using electro-thermal rather than mechanical processes). The Blue Arc process reduces the cycle time to generate preforms on aircraft engine blisks (engine rotating parts which form part of the engine’s compressor section) from days to hours. It is about three times faster than milling and GE has a plan to achieve a 4x or 5x faster time overall. Analysis at GE’s Global Research Centre has also shown approximately 30% net energy reduction with the Blue Arc™ process.

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