DRDO establishes isothermal tech for production of HPC discs

The technology has been developed by Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), the metallurgical laboratory of DRDO at Hyderabad.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the near isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of High-Pressure Compressors (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy using its unique 2000 MT isothermal forge press for establishing self-reliance in aeroengine technology.

The technology has been developed by Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), the metallurgical laboratory of DRDO at Hyderabad. This is a crucial technology and with this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero engine components.

DMRL technology was transferred to Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited – MIDHANI through a licensing agreement for technology transfer (LAToT) to meet the bulk production requirements. Using the isothermal forge press facility available at DMRL here, about 200 HPC disc forgings pertaining to various compressor stages have been jointly (DMRL & MIDHANI) produced and successfully supplied to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (E), Bengaluru, for fitment in to Adour Engine that powers the Jaguar/Hawk aircrafts, said an official release.

The Adour engine is overhauled by HAL (E), Bengaluru and like in any aeroengine, the HPC drum assembly has to be replaced after a specified number of operations or in case of damage. The annual requirements of these high value HPC discs are quite large, warranting indigenisation. HPC drum is a highly stressed sub-assembly and is also subjected to low cycle fatigue and creep at elevated temperature. The raw materials and forgings for HPC drum are required to be of the highest quality and DMRL has developed this forging technology by integrating various science and knowledge-based tools.

The methodology is generic in nature and can be tuned to develop other similar aeroengine components. The compressor discs produced using this methodology met all the requirements stipulated by the airworthiness agencies for the desired application. Based on the exhaustive component level and performance evaluation test results, HAL (E) and Indian Air Force cleared the components for engine fitment. Apart from DMRL and HAL (E), various agencies such as MIDHANI, Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification – CEMILAC and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance – DGAQA worked in unison to establish this crucial technology.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Satheesh Reddy congratulated the scientists of DRDO, industry and all other agencies involved in the development of this critical aero engine related technology.

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