Reducing Costs and Energy in Aerospace Manufacturing

Conventional manufacturing processes for aircraft engine parts is very costly and requires a significant amount of energy, but new technologies are being researched in order to find ways to reduce the environmental impact of aerospace manufacturing.

In partnership with Pratt & Whitney Canada, Dr. Corbin, a researcher from Dalhousie University, will investigate two metallurgical processes (brazing and sintering) capable of developing a net shape manufacturing method using less material. Advanced thermal analysis tools will be used to gain detailed insight into the brazing and sintering processes to optimize these methods.

"We want to develop new ways to make these super alloy engine parts at lower costs through the use of less material and less energy and therefore making less of an environmental impact," says Dr. Stephen Corbin.

This research into advanced materials processing will lead to better manufacturing methods that will revolutionize how aircraft engine parts are made. These new processes are expected to reduce the cost of manufacturing, reduce the industry’s environmental footprint, and become beneficial to Canada’s economy.

One goal of the Chair is to further develop highly qualified personnel, which is essential to keeping the industry healthy in Canada. The Chair will provide graduate students with a unique opportunity to work closely with Pratt & Whitney Canada to better understand the relationship between basic science and application in an engineering manufacturing environment.

"The state-of-the-art facilities accessible through this research program provide a unique training experience for Dr. Corbin's students, as they work to address challenges currently being faced by aerospace companies,” says Suzanne Fortier, president of NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council).

The NSERC-IRC is a five-year renewable program that promotes the advancement of emerging or established engineering research fields that benefit Canadian industry.