(19)
(11)EP 2 772 688 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/49

(21)Application number: 14151526.2

(22)Date of filing:  17.01.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F23R 3/14  (2006.01)
F23D 14/24  (2006.01)
B22F 3/10  (2006.01)
F01D 9/04  (2006.01)
B22F 3/105  (2006.01)
F01D 9/02  (2006.01)
F23C 7/00  (2006.01)
F23R 3/28  (2006.01)
F23R 3/12  (2006.01)
F23D 11/10  (2006.01)
B22F 5/10  (2006.01)

(54)

A vane structure and a method of manufacturing a vane structure

Schaufelstruktur und Verfahren zur Herstellung einer Schaufelstruktur

Structure à aube et procédé de fabrication d'une structure à aube


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.02.2013 GB 201303428

(43)Date of publication of application:
03.09.2014 Bulletin 2014/36

(73)Proprietor: Rolls-Royce plc
London SW1E 6AT (GB)

(72)Inventors:
  • Gregory, Jonathan
    Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 9DT (GB)
  • Francis, Oliver
    Dursley, GL11 5DA (GB)

(74)Representative: Rolls-Royce plc 
Intellectual Property Dept SinA-48 PO Box 31
Derby DE24 8BJ
Derby DE24 8BJ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 549 183
EP-A2- 1 798 475
WO-A2-2009/126403
DE-T2- 60 318 287
US-A1- 2004 040 310
EP-A2- 1 605 204
EP-A2- 2 458 284
DE-A1-102008 002 940
DE-T2- 69 927 025
US-A1- 2009 255 264
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the Invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to a vane structure and a method of manufacturing a vane structure. The present invention relates in particular to fuel injector comprising a vane structure designed to be manufactured by direct laser deposition and a method of manufacturing a fuel injector comprising a vane structure by direct laser deposition, and more particularly relates to a gas turbine engine fuel injector designed to be manufactured by direct laser deposition and a method of manufacturing a gas turbine engine fuel injector by direct laser deposition.

    Background to the Invention



    [0002] Fuel injectors for gas turbine engine combustion chambers are currently manufactured using conventional manufacturing techniques to produce swirler vanes and swirler vane passages between the swirler vanes. Fuel injectors for gas turbine engine combustion chambers are currently manufactured by casting, machining from solid or electro-discharge machining from solid. The conventional manufacturing techniques limit the complexity of the shape of the swirler vanes and incur significant non-recurring costs each time the configuration of the swirler vanes is changed.

    [0003] The direct laser deposition (DLD) manufacturing technique may offer significant advantages in that the configuration of the swirler vanes may be much more complex and the non-recurring costs of changing the configuration of the swirler vanes in minimal.

    [0004] Direct laser deposition (DLD), alternatively known as selective laser sintering (SLS) or selective laser melting (SLM), is an additive manufacturing technique by which metallic parts are produced by fusing metallic powder particles together with a relatively low-power laser beam or other suitable radiation beam or energy beam. Direct laser deposition uses a computer aided design (CAD) model of a component, or article, and the CAD model of the component, or article, is divided into a plurality of layers. Layers of powder metal are sequentially placed on a powder bed apparatus and the radiation beam is moved in a predetermined pattern over the each layer of powder in turn to build up the component, or article, layer by layer.

    [0005] US2009/255264A1 and WO2009/126403A1 discloses a fuel nozzle which comprises a unitary air swirler manufactured by rapid manufacturing processes such as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).

    [0006] However, it is difficult and expensive to manufacture fuel injectors for gas turbine engine combustion chambers using direct laser deposition because the configuration of the swirler vanes is such that the swirler vanes have over-hanging and/or re-entrant features. Currently the direct laser deposition process is limited to a maximum over-hang angle of about 30° relative to a horizontal plane and the direct laser deposition process builds up components or articles vertically. Over-hang angles less than this produce significant distortion of the component or article because the next layer of powder deposited is not sufficiently supported.

    [0007] The over-hanging and/or re-entrant features require additional slave structures to be provided on the component, or article, to prevent distortion or loss of form, or shape, during the direct laser deposition manufacturing process. In addition these additional slave features have to be removed, e.g. machined, from the finished component, or article, adding cost and introducing a possibility of introducing defects in the component, or article, due to the machining process. The additional slave features form a scaffold structure that is modelled into the component, typically by modifying the computer aided design (CAD) model of the component using the direct laser deposition (DLD) software prior to start of the manufacturing process. The form of the additional slave features, or scaffold structure, is dependent on how the component is orientated relative to the horizontal plane of the powder bed apparatus. For example if the component is orientated such it is does not have any over-hanging, or un-supported, features, then no additional slave features are required.

    [0008] Therefore the present invention seeks to provide a novel fuel injector which reduces or overcomes the above mentioned problem.

    [0009] The present invention seeks to provide a novel method of manufacturing a fuel injector which reduces or overcomes the above mentioned problem.

    Statements of Invention



    [0010] Accordingly, the present invention provides a vane structure, the vane structure comprising layers of powder metal bonded, fused or sintered by an energy beam, the vane structure comprising a plurality of vanes, a first member and a second member, the second member being arranged coaxially around the first member, the vanes extending radially between the first and second members, the vanes having first edges and second edges, the first member having a first axial end and a second axial end, the second member having a first axial end and a second axial end, the first axial end of the second member being located at an axial position between the first axial end and the second axial end of the first member, the first edges of the vanes extend with radial and axial components from the first member to the first axial end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the first edges of the vanes form arches with the first axial end of the second member.

    [0011] The first edges of the vanes are leading edges, the first axial end of the second member is an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes extend with radial and axial components from the first member to the upstream end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes form arches with the upstream end of the second member.

    [0012] The vane structure may form a swirler of a fuel injector.

    [0013] The fuel injector may comprise a second swirler, the second swirler comprising a plurality of vanes and a third member, the third member being arranged coaxially around the second member, the vanes of the second swirler extending radially between the second and third members, the vanes of the second swirler having leading edges, the third member having an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes of the second swirler extending with radial and axial components from the upstream end of the second member to the upstream end of the third member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes of the second swirler forming arches with the upstream end of the third member.

    [0014] The fuel injector may comprise a third swirler, the third swirler comprising a plurality of vanes and a fourth member, the fourth member being arranged coaxially around the third member, the vanes of the third swirler extending radially between the third and fourth members, the vanes of the third swirler having leading edges, the leading edges of the vanes of the third swirler extending with radial and axial components from the upstream end of the third member to the fourth member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes of the third swirler forming arches with the fourth member.

    [0015] The fourth member may have an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes of the third swirler extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end of the third member to the upstream end of the fourth member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes of the third swirler form arches with the upstream end of the fourth member.

    [0016] The fuel injector may comprise a fourth swirler, the fourth swirler comprising a plurality of vanes and a fifth member, the fifth member being arranged coaxially around the fourth member, the vanes of the fourth swirler extending radially between the fourth and fifth members, the vanes of the fourth swirler having leading edges, the leading edges of the vanes of the fourth swirler extending with radial and axial components from the upstream end of the fourth member to the fifth member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes of the fourth swirler forming arches with the fifth member.

    [0017] The fifth member may have an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes of the fourth swirler extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end of the fourth member to the upstream end of the fifth member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes of the fourth swirler form arches with the upstream end of the fifth member.

    [0018] The upstream end of the fourth member may be circular or elliptical. The upstream end of the fifth member may be circular or elliptical.

    [0019] The leading edges of the vanes of the swirler may be arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure. The leading edges of the vanes of the second swirler may be arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure. The leading edges of the vanes of the third swirler may be arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure. The leading edges of the vanes of the fourth swirler may be arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure.

    [0020] The radially inner end of each vane of the second swirler may be positioned at an apex of a respective arch formed by the radially outer ends of the vanes of the swirler and the upstream end of the second member.

    [0021] The radially inner end of each vane of the third swirler may be positioned at an apex of a respective arch formed by the radially outer ends of the vanes of the second swirler and the upstream end of the third member.

    [0022] The radially inner end of each vane of the fourth swirler may be positioned at an apex of a respective arch formed by the radially outer ends of the vanes of the third swirler and the upstream end of the fourth member.

    [0023] The first swirler, the second swirler, the third swirler and the fourth swirler may be air swirlers.

    [0024] An additional swirler may be located within the first member.

    [0025] The fuel injector may be a rich burn fuel injector. The fuel injector may be a lean burn fuel injector.

    [0026] The vane structure may comprise a compressor vane structure, a turbine vane structure, a combustor nozzle guide vane structure or a fan outlet guide vane structure, the first member comprises a sector of an annulus and the second member comprises a sector of an annulus, the second member is arranged coaxially with the first member and the plurality of vanes extend radially between the first and second members.

    [0027] The leading edges of the vanes may be arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure.

    [0028] The present invention also provides a method of manufacturing a vane structure, the vane structure comprising a plurality of vanes, a first member and a second member, the second member being arranged coaxially around the first member, the vanes extending radially between the first and second members, the vanes having first edges and second edges, the first member having a first axial end and a second axial end, the second member having a first axial end and a second axial end, the first axial end of the second member being located at an axial position between the first axial end and the second axial end of the first member, the first edges of the vanes extending with radial and axial components from the first member to the first end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the first edges of the vanes forming arches with the first end of the second member, the method comprising a) depositing a layer of powder metal in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the vane structure, b) moving an energy beam in a predetermined pattern over the layer of powder metal to fuse the powder metal in the predetermined pattern in the layer of powder metal, c) repeating steps a) and b) to produce the vane structure, the vane structure being built up axially from one axial end to the other axial end starting at the first axial end of the first member.

    [0029] The first edges of the vanes are leading edges, the first axial end of the second member is an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes extend with radial and axial components from the first member to the upstream end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes form arches with the upstream end of the second member.

    [0030] Step b) may comprise moving a laser beam or an electron beam over the layer of powder metal to fuse the powder metal.

    [0031] The present disclosure also provides a fuel injector comprising a swirler, the swirler comprising a plurality of vanes, a first member and a second member, the second member being arranged coaxially around the first member, the vanes extending radially between the first and second members, the vanes having leading edges, the second member having an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes extending with radial and axial components from the first member to the upstream end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes forming arches with the upstream end of the second member.

    [0032] The present disclosure also provides a method of manufacturing a fuel injector comprising a swirler, the swirler comprising a plurality of vanes, a first member and a second member, the second member being arranged coaxially around the first member, the vanes extending radially between the first and second members, the vanes having leading edges, the second member having an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes extending with radial and axial components from the first member to the upstream end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes forming arches with the upstream end of the second member, the method comprising a) depositing a layer of powder metal in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the fuel injector, b) moving an energy beam in a predetermined pattern over the layer of powder metal to fuse the powder metal in the predetermined pattern in the layer of powder metal, c) repeating steps a) and b) to produce the fuel injector..

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0033] The present invention will be more fully described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-

    Figure 1 is partially cut away view of a turbofan gas turbine engine having a fuel injector comprising a vane structure according to the present invention.

    Figure 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a combustion chamber of the turbofan gas turbine engine having a fuel injector comprising a vane structure according to the present invention.

    Figure 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a fuel injector comprising a vane structure according to the present invention.

    Figure 4 is a plan view of the fuel injector in figure 3 in the direction of arrow A.

    Figure 5 is a perspective view of the fuel injector in figure 3.

    Figure 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a further fuel injector comprising a vane structure according to the present invention.

    Figure 7 is an apparatus for use in a method of manufacturing a fuel injector comprising a vane structure by direct laser deposition according to the present invention.


    Detailed Description



    [0034] A turbofan gas turbine engine 10, as shown in figure 1, comprises in flow series an intake 11, a fan 12, an intermediate pressure compressor 13, a high pressure compressor 14, a combustion chamber 15, a high pressure turbine 16, an intermediate pressure turbine 17, a low pressure turbine 18 and an exhaust 19. The high pressure turbine 16 is arranged to drive the high pressure compressor 14 via a first shaft 26. The intermediate pressure turbine 17 is arranged to drive the intermediate pressure compressor 13 via a second shaft 28 and the low pressure turbine 18 is arranged to drive the fan 12 via a third shaft 30. In operation air flows into the intake 11 and is compressed by the fan 12. A first portion of the air flows through, and is compressed by, the intermediate pressure compressor 13 and the high pressure compressor 14 and is supplied to the combustion chamber 15. Fuel is injected into the combustion chamber 15 and is burnt in the air to produce hot exhaust gases which flow through, and drive, the high pressure turbine 16, the intermediate pressure turbine 17 and the low pressure turbine 18. The hot exhaust gases leaving the low pressure turbine 18 flow through the exhaust 19 to provide propulsive thrust. A second portion of the air bypasses the main engine to provide propulsive thrust.

    [0035] The combustion chamber 15, as shown more clearly in figure 2, is an annular combustion chamber and comprises a radially inner annular wall structure 40, a radially outer annular wall structure 42 and an upstream end wall structure 44. The radially inner annular wall structure 40 comprises a first annular wall 46 and a second annular wall 48. The radially outer annular wall structure 42 comprises a third annular wall 50 and a fourth annular wall 52. The second annular wall 48 is spaced radially from and is arranged radially around the first annular wall 46 and the first annular wall 46 supports the second annular wall 48. The fourth annular wall 52 is spaced radially from and is arranged radially within the third annular wall 50 and the third annular wall 50 supports the fourth annular wall 52. The upstream end of the first annular wall 46 is secured to the upstream end wall structure 44 and the upstream end of the third annular wall 50 is secured to the upstream end wall structure 44. The upstream end wall structure 44 has a plurality of circumferentially spaced apertures 54 and each aperture 54 has a respective one of a plurality of fuel injectors 56 located therein. The fuel injectors 56 are arranged to supply fuel into the annular combustion chamber 15 during operation of the gas turbine engine 10. Each of the fuel injectors 56 is a fuel injector according to the present invention.

    [0036] A fuel injector 56 according to the present invention is shown more clearly in figures 3 to 5. The fuel injector 56 is a rich burn fuel injector and comprises a fuel feed arm 58 and a fuel injector head 60.

    [0037] The fuel injector arm 58 is hollow and has a fuel supply passage 62 to supply fuel into the fuel injector head 60. The fuel injector head 60 has an axis Y and comprises a first swirler 64, a second swirler 66 and an additional swirler 68. The first swirler 64 comprises a plurality of vanes 70, a first member 72 and a second member 74. The second member 74 is arranged coaxially around the first member 72 and the vanes 70 extend radially between the first and second members 72 and 74. The vanes 70 have leading edges 76 and the second member 74 has an upstream end 78. The leading edges 76 of the vanes 70 extend with radial and axial components from the first member 72 to the upstream end 78 of the second member 74 and the radially outer ends 80 of the leading edges 76 of the vanes 70 form arches 82 with the upstream end 78 of the second member 74. In particular the leading edges 76 of the vanes 70 extend with axial downstream components from the first member 72 to the upstream end 78 of the second member 74.

    [0038] The second swirler 66 comprises a plurality of vanes 84 and a third member 86. The third member 86 is arranged coaxially around the second member 74. The vanes 84 of the second swirler 66 extend radially between the second and third members 74 and 86. The vanes 84 of the second swirler 66 have leading edges 88 and the third member 86 has an upstream end 90. The leading edges 88 of the vanes 84 of the second swirler 66 extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end 78 of the second member 74 to the upstream end 90 of the third member 86 and the radially outer ends 92 of the leading edges 88 of the vanes 84 of the second swirler 66 form arches 94 with the upstream end 90 of the third member 86. In particular the leading edges 88 of the vanes 84 extend with axial downstream components from the upstream end 78 of the second member 74 to the upstream end 90 of the third member 86.

    [0039] The first member 72, the second member 74 and the third member 86 are generally annular members with a common axis Y. Thus, the upstream end of the first member 72 is upstream of the upstream end 78 of the second member 74 and the upstream end 78 of the second member 74 is upstream of the upstream end 90 of the third member 86.

    [0040] The additional swirler 68 comprises a plurality of vanes 96 and a central member 98. The central member 98 is positioned coaxially within the first member 72. The vanes 96 of the additional swirler 68 extend radially between the central member 98 and the first member 72.

    [0041] The outer surface of the downstream end of the first member 72 tapers/converges towards the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60. The first member 72 is provided with one or more passages 100 to supply fuel from the fuel supply passage 62 in the fuel feed arm 58 to a pre-filming surface 102 at the downstream end of the first member 72. The downstream end of the second member 74 tapers/converges towards the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60 and the inner surface of the downstream end of the third member 86 initially tapers/converges towards the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60 and then diverges away from the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60. An annular passage 104 is defined between the first member 72 and the second member 74 and an annular passage 106 is defined between the second member 74 and the third member 86. A central passage 108 is defined within the first member 74 and the central passage 108 is an annular passage between the central member 98 and the first member 72.

    [0042] In this example the leading edges 76 of the vanes 70 of the first swirler 64 are arranged at a maximum angle α of 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60 and the leading edges 88 of the vanes 84 of the second swirler 66 are also arranged at a maximum angle α of 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60. The arches 82 and 94 may comprise straight edge arches which are angled at 30° relative to a plane perpendicular to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60. The arches 82 and 94 may have a pointed apex, or a curved apex, at the junction with the adjoining second and third members 74 and 86 respectively. The leading edges of any of the sets of vanes 70 and 84 may be arranged at an angle of 50° to 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60.

    [0043] In operation fuel is injected onto the pre-filming surface 104 of the first member 74 and the fuel is atomised by swirling flows of air in the central passage 108 and the annular passage 104. A further swirling flow of air is provided in the annular passage 106 to assist atomisation and distribution of the fuel and air mixture into the combustion chamber 15 as is well known to those skilled in the art.

    [0044] It is seen that the fuel injector head 60 is arranged such that the leading edges 76 and 88 of the vanes 70 and 84 respectively are arranged to extend with axial downstream components from the first member 72 to the upstream end 78 of the second member 74 and from the second member 74 to the upstream end 90 of the third member 86 respectively. In addition it is seen that the fuel injector head 60 is arranged such that the radially outer ends 80 and 92 of the leading edges 76 and 88 of the vanes 70 and 84 respectively form arches 82 and 94 with the upstream ends 78 and 90 of the second and third member 74 and 86 respectively. These features enable the fuel injector head 60 and in particular the first and second swirlers 64 and 66 of the fuel injector head 60 to be manufactured by direct laser deposition. These features enable the vanes 70 of the first swirler 64 to provide support between the first member 72 and the second member 74 and the vanes 84 of the second swirler 66 to provide support between the second member 74 and the third member 86 during the direct laser deposition process.

    [0045] A further fuel injector 156 according to the present invention is shown more clearly in figure 6. The fuel injector 156 is a lean burn fuel injector and comprises a fuel feed arm and a fuel injector head 160.

    [0046] The fuel injector arm is hollow and has a fuel supply passage to supply fuel into the fuel injector head 160. The fuel injector head 160 comprises a first swirler 164, a second swirler 166, a third swirler 168, a fourth swirler 170 and an additional swirler 172. The first swirler 164 comprises a plurality of vanes 174, a first member 176 and a second member 178. The second member 178 is arranged coaxially around the first member 176 and the vanes 174 extend radially between the first and second members 176 and 178. The vanes 174 have leading edges 180 and the second member 178 has a leading edge 182. The leading edges 180 of the vanes 174 extend with radial and axial components from the first member 176 to the upstream end 182 of the second member 178 and the radially outer ends 184 of the leading edges 180 of the vanes 174 form arches with the upstream end 182 of the second member 178. In particular the leading edges 180 of the vanes 174 extend with axial downstream components from the first member 176 to the upstream end 182 of the second member 178.

    [0047] The second swirler 166 comprises a plurality of vanes 188 and a third member 190. The third member 190 is arranged coaxially around the second member 178. The vanes 188 of the second swirler 166 extend radially between the second and third members 178 and 190. The vanes 188 of the second swirler 166 have leading edges 192 and the third member 190 has a leading edge 194. The leading edges 192 of the vanes 188 of the second swirler 166 extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end 182 of the second member 178 to the upstream end 194 of the third member 190 and the radially outer ends 196 of the leading edges 192 of the vanes 188 of the second swirler 166 form arches with the upstream end 194 of the third member 190. In particular the leading edges 192 of the vanes 188 extend with axial downstream components from the upstream end 182 of the second member 178 to the upstream end 194 of the third member 190.

    [0048] The third swirler 168 comprises a plurality of vanes 200 and a fourth member 202. The fourth member 202 is arranged coaxially around the third member 190. The vanes 200 of the third swirler 168 extend radially between the third and fourth members 190 and 202. The vanes 200 of the third swirler 168 have leading edges 204 and the fourth member 202 has a leading edge 206. The leading edges 204 of the vanes 200 of the third swirler 168 extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end 194 of the third member 190 to the fourth member 202 and the radially outer ends 208 of the leading edges 204 of the vanes 200 of the third swirler 168 form arches with the fourth member 202. In this example the leading edges 204 of the vanes 200 of the third swirler 168 extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end 194 of the third member 190 to the upstream end 212 of the fourth member 202 and the radially outer ends of the leading edges 204 of the vanes 200 of the third swirler 168 form arches with the upstream end 212 of the fourth member 202.

    [0049] The fourth swirler 170 comprises a plurality of vanes 214 and a fifth member 216. The fifth member 216 is arranged coaxially around the fourth member 202. The vanes 214 of the fourth swirler 170 extend radially between the fourth and fifth members 202 and 216. The vanes 214 of the fourth swirler 170 have leading edges 218 and the fifth member 216 has a leading edge 220. The leading edges 218 of the vanes 214 of the fourth swirler 170 extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end 212 of the fourth member 202 to the fifth member 216 and the radially outer ends 222 of the leading edges 218 of the vanes 214 of the fourth swirler 170 form arches with the fifth member 216.

    [0050] The first member 176, the second member 178, the third member 190, the fourth member 202 and the fifth member 216 are generally annular members. Thus, the upstream end of the first member 176 is upstream of the upstream end 182 of the second member 178 and the upstream end 182 of the second member 178 is upstream of the upstream end 194 of the third member 190, the upstream end 194 of the third member 190 is upstream of the upstream end 212 of the fourth member 202 and the upstream end 212 of the fourth member 202 is upstream of the upstream end of the fifth member 216.

    [0051] The additional swirler 172 comprises a plurality of vanes 224 and a central member 226. The central member 226 is positioned coaxially within the first member 176. The vanes 224 of the additional swirler 172 extend radially between the central member 226 and the first member 176.

    [0052] The outer surface of the downstream end of the first member 176 tapers/converges towards the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60. The first member 176 is provided with one or more passages 228 to supply fuel from the fuel supply passage 62 in the fuel feed arm 158 to a pre-filming surface 230 at the downstream end of the first member 176. The downstream end of the second member 178 tapers/converges towards the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160 and the downstream end of the third member 190 diverges away from the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160. The fourth member 202 is provided with one or more passages 232 to supply fuel from the fuel supply passage 62 in the fuel feed arm 58 to a pre-filming surface 234 at the downstream end of the fourth member 202. The pre-filming surface 234 is a radially inner surface. The pre-filming surface 234 at the downstream end of the fourth member 202 diverges away from the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160. The radially outer surface at the downstream end of the fourth member 202 tapers/converges towards the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160. The downstream end of the fifth member 216 initially tapers/converges towards the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160 and then diverges away from the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160.

    [0053] An annular passage 236 is defined between the first member 176 and the second member 178 and an annular passage 238 is defined between the second member 178 and the third member 190. An annular passage 240 is defined between the third member 190 and the fourth member 202 and an annular passage 242 is defined between the fourth member 202 and the fifth member 216. A central passage 246 is defined within the first member 176 and the central passage 246 is an annular passage between the central member 226 and the first member 176.

    [0054] In this example the leading edges 180 of the vanes 174 of the first swirler 164 are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160 and the leading edges 192 of the vanes 188 of the second swirler 166 are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160. The leading edges 204 of the vanes 200 of the third swirler 168 are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160 and the leading edges 218 of the vanes 214 of the fourth swirler 170 are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160. The arches 186, 198, 210 and 222 may comprise straight edge arches which are angled at 30° relative to a plane perpendicular to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160. The arches 186, 198, 210 and 222 may have a pointed apex, or a curved apex, at the junction with the adjoining second, third, fourth and fifth members 178, 190, 202 and 216 respectively. The leading edges of any of the sets of vanes 180, 188, 200 and 214 may be arranged at an angle of 50° to 60° to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 160.

    [0055] In operation fuel is injected onto the pre-filming surface 230 of the first member 176 and fuel is injected onto the pre-filming surface 234 of the fourth member 202. The fuel on the pre-filming surface 230 is atomised by swirling flows of air in the central passage 246 and the annular passage 236. The fuel on the pre-filming surface 234 is atomised by swirling flows of air in the annular passage 240 and the annular passage 242.

    [0056] It is seen that the fuel injector head is arranged such that the leading edges of the vanes are arranged to extend with axial downstream components from the first member to the upstream end of the second member and from the second member to the upstream end of the third member respectively. In addition it is seen that the fuel injector head is arranged such that the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes form arches with the upstream ends of the second and third members respectively. The leading edges of the vanes are arranged to extend with axial downstream components from the third member to the upstream end of the fourth member and from the fourth member to the upstream end of the fifth member respectively. In addition it is seen that the fuel injector head is arranged such that the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes form arches with the upstream ends of the fourth and fifth members respectively. These features enable the fuel injector head and in particular the first, second, third and fourth swirlers of the fuel injector head to be manufactured by direct laser deposition. These features enable the vanes of the first swirler to provide support between the first member and the second member, the vanes of the second swirler to provide support between the second member and the third member, the vanes of the third swirler to provide support between the third member and the fourth member and the vanes of the fifth swirler to provide support between the fourth member and the fifth member during the direct laser deposition process.

    [0057] The fuel injector 56 and/or the fuel injector 156 are manufactured using direct laser deposition or powder bed fusion using an apparatus 300 shown in figure 7. Powder bed fusion uses a laser beam or an electron beam to melt and fuse powder particles together to build up an article layer by layer from powder material, e.g. powder metal, by moving the laser beam, or electron beam, in a predetermined pattern, or path, across sequentially deposited layers of powder material.

    [0058] The apparatus 300 comprises a sealed chamber 302, which has a retractable platform 304. A pump 306 is provided to supply an inert gas, argon or nitrogen, through a pipe 308 into the chamber 302 and gas is extracted from the chamber 302 via a pipe 310. A laser 312, e.g. an infrared laser, is provided to direct a laser beam 319 through a window 314 in the chamber 302. A controller 320 has a CAD definition of the shape and features of the fuel injector head 60 or fuel injector head 160 and the laser 312 is moved under the control of the controller 320.

    [0059] The fuel injector head 60 and/or fuel injector head 160 is manufactured by placing a first layer 316 of a suitable metal, or alloy, powder, on the retractable platform 304 in the sealed chamber 302. The laser beam 319 is scanned across the layer of metal powder 316 in a predetermined pattern to form a first layer of the fuel injector head 60 or 160 by bodily moving the laser 312 appropriate distances in perpendicular X and Y directions or by deflecting the laser beam 319 off a movable mirror 318. The laser beam 319 melts and fuses or sinters the metal powder where it strikes the layer of metal powder 316. Then a second, thin, layer of metal, or alloy, is placed on the first layer, the platform 304 is retracted one increment outwards from the chamber 302 and the laser beam 319 is scanned across the layer of metal powder in a further predetermined pattern to form a second layer of the fuel injector head 60 or 160 respectively. The laser beam 319 melts and fuses or sinters the metal powder where it strikes the second layer of metal powder 316 and bonds, fuses or sinters the second layer of the fuel injector 60 or 160 to the first layer of the fuel injector 60 or 160 respectively. The process of placing layers of metal powder, retracting the platform 304 and scanning the laser beam 319 across the layer of metal powder in a predetermined pattern to fuse and sinter the metal powder in each layer and to bond each layer to the previously deposited layer is repeated a sufficient number of times to build the fuel injector 60 or 160 layer by layer from one axial end to the opposite axial end. The predetermined pattern of scanning of the laser beam 319 for each layer is determined by the CAD model of the fuel injector 60 or 160. It is necessary to remove the un-fused, or un-sintered, metal powder from the fuel injector head 60 or 160 and this may be by inverting the fuel injector head 60 or 160 to pour out the un-fused metal powder. This removal of the un-fused metal powder may be assisted by vibration, air blast etc. The un-fused, or un-sintered, metal powder is removed in particular from the regions forming the annular passages between the members and between the vanes in the passages and passages within the members forming fuel passages. The fuel injector head 60 or 160 is built up layer-by-layer as mentioned previously and in particular the fuel injector head 60 or 160 is built up by depositing the layers of powder metal 316 in planes perpendicular to the axis Y of the fuel injector head 60 or 160 such that the fuel injector head 60 or 160 is built up axially from one axial end to the other axial end, e.g. from its axially upstream end to its axially downstream end. The first member has a first end and a second end, the second member has a first end and a second end, the third member has a first end and a second end. The first end of the first member is upstream of the first end of the second member and the first end of the second member is upstream of the first end of the third member. The fuel injector head 60 or 160 is built up layer-by-layer starting at the first end of the first member. The direct laser deposition process is limited to a maximum over-hang angle of about 30° relative to a horizontal plane and the direct laser deposition process builds up components or articles vertically layer by layer.

    [0060] The fuel injector is manufactured from a suitable metal, or suitable alloy, powder for example a nickel superalloy powder. Each layer of metal powder deposited is approximately 20 microns thick to control the surface finish of the finished fuel injector.

    [0061] The lean burn fuel injector of figure 6 may be arranged such that the fourth and fifth members extend the full axial length of the fuel injector head in which case the vanes of the third swirler extend in an upstream direction from the upstream end of the third member to the fourth member and the radially inner ends of the leading edges of the vanes of the third swirler form arches with the third member.

    [0062] The present invention provides a fuel injector which is self supporting to minimise the cost of manufacturing the fuel injector by direct laser deposition so that it is not necessary to produce a fuel injector with additional slave features to support the fuel injector during the direct laser deposition manufacturing process. The self supporting fuel injector avoids the need to remove the additional slave features once the fuel injector has been manufactured. This reduces the part-cost for producing a fuel injector, removes the need for additional machining and reduces the possibility of producing variations, due to additional machining, in the fuel injectors, e.g. reduces the possibility of non-conformance of the fuel injectors.

    [0063] Although the present invention has been described with reference to the manufacture of the fuel injector by direct laser deposition in which a laser beam is used to fuse/melt the powder metal it is equally possible to use an electron beam, a suitable radiation beam or a suitable energy beam to fuse/melt the powder metal.

    [0064] The present invention is equally applicable to the manufacture of other vaned structures for example gas turbine engine fuel injector fuel swirlers, compressor vanes, turbine vanes, combustor nozzle guide vanes and fan outlet guide vanes. The present invention is also applicable to other vaned structures for example flow straighteners or oil misters. However, in the case of compressor vanes, turbine vanes, combustor nozzle guide vanes and fan outlet guide vanes the first member may comprise a sector of an annulus and the second member may be a sector of an annulus and the second member is again arranged coaxially with the first member and a number of vanes extend radially between the first and second members. A number of these vaned structures may be assembled together to form a full annulus, by securing them together by bonding, brazing, welding and/or using interlocking features. This enables vaned structures with large radii to be manufactured in a powder bed. The combustor nozzle guide vanes and the turbine vanes may be manufactured from nickel base superalloys, the compressor vanes and fan outlet guide vanes may be manufactured from a titanium alloy, a nickel alloy, an aluminium alloy or steel. The compressor vanes, turbine vanes, combustor nozzle guide vanes and fan outlet guide vanes may additionally extend between the first and second members with circumferential components in addition to the axial and radial components.


    Claims

    1. A vane structure, the vane structure comprising layers of powder metal bonded, fused or sintered by an energy beam, the vane structure comprising a plurality of vanes (70), a first member (72) and a second member (74), the second member (74) being arranged coaxially around the first member (72), the vanes (70) extending radially between the first and second members (72, 74), the vanes (70) having first edges (76) and second edges, the first member (72) having a first axial end and a second axial end, the second member (74) having a first axial end (78) and a second axial end, the first axial end (78) of the second member (74) being located at an axial position between the first axial end and the second axial end of the first member (72), characterised in that the first edges (76) of the vanes (70) extend with radial and axial components from the first member (72) to the first axial end (78) of the second member (74) and the radially outer ends of the first edges of the vanes (70) form arches (82) with the first axial end (78) of the second member (74).
     
    2. A vane structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first edges (76) of the vanes (70) are leading edges, the first axial end (78) of the second member is an upstream end, the leading edges (76) of the vanes (70) extend with radial and axial components from the first member (72) to the upstream end (78) of the second member (74) and the radially outer ends of the leading edges (76) of the vanes (70) form arches (82) with the upstream end (78) of the second member (74).
     
    3. A fuel injector (56) comprising a swirler (64), wherein the swirler (64) comprises the vane structure as claimed in claim 2.
     
    4. A fuel injector as claimed in claim 3, wherein the fuel injector (56) comprises a second swirler (66), the second swirler (66) comprising a plurality of vanes (84) and a third member (86), the third member (86) being arranged coaxially around the second member (74), the vanes (84) of the second swirler (66) extending radially between the second and third members (74, 86), the vanes (84) of the second swirler (66) having leading edges (88), the third member (86) having an upstream end (90), the leading edges (88) of the vanes (84) of the second swirler (66) extending with radial and axial components from the upstream end (78) of the second member (74) to the upstream end (90) of the third member (86) and the radially outer ends (92) of the leading edges (88) of the vanes (84) of the second swirler (66) forming arches (94) with the upstream end (90) of the third member (86).
     
    5. A fuel injector as claimed in claim 4, wherein the fuel injector (156) comprises a third swirler (168), the third swirler (168) comprising a plurality of vanes (200) and a fourth member (202), the fourth member (202) being arranged coaxially around the third member (190), the vanes (200) of the third swirler (168) extending radially between the third and fourth members (190, 202), the vanes (200) of the third swirler (168) having leading edges (204), the leading edges (204) of the vanes (200) of the third swirler (168) extending with radial and axial components from the upstream end (194) of the third member (190) to the fourth member (202) and the radially outer ends (208) of the leading edges (204) of the vanes (200) of the third swirler (168) forming arches with the fourth member (202).
     
    6. A fuel injector as claimed in claim 5, wherein the fourth member (202) has an upstream end (212), the leading edges (204) of the vanes (200) of the third swirler (168) extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end (194) of the third member (190) to the upstream end (212) of the fourth member (202) and the radially outer ends of the leading edges (204) of the vanes (200) of the third swirler (168) form arches with the upstream end (212) of the fourth member (202).
     
    7. A fuel injector as claimed in claim 5 or claim 6, wherein the fuel injector (156) comprises a fourth swirler (170), the fourth swirler (170) comprising a plurality of vanes (214) and a fifth member (216), the fifth member (216) being arranged coaxially around the fourth member (202), the vanes (214) of the fourth swirler (170) extending radially between the fourth and fifth members (202, 216), the vanes (214) of the fourth swirler (170) having leading edges (218), the leading edges (218) of the vanes (214) of the fourth swirler (170) extending with radial and axial components from the upstream end (212) of the fourth member (202) to the fifth member (216) and the radially outer ends (222) of the leading edges (218) of the vanes (214) of the fourth swirler (170) forming arches with the fifth member (216).
     
    8. A fuel injector as claimed in claim 7, wherein the fifth member (216) has an upstream end (220), the leading edges (218) of the vanes (214) of the fourth swirler (170) extend with radial and axial components from the upstream end (212) of the fourth member (202) to the upstream end (220) of the fifth member (216) and the radially outer ends (222) of the leading edges (218) of the vanes (214) of the fourth swirler (170) form arches with the upstream end (220) of the fifth member (216).
     
    9. A fuel injector as claimed in any one of claims 3 to 8, wherein the leading edges (76) of the vanes (70) of the swirler (64) are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure.
     
    10. A fuel injector as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 9, wherein the leading edges (88) of the vanes (84) of the second swirler (66) are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure.
     
    11. A fuel injector as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 10, wherein the leading edges (204) of the vanes (200) of the third swirler (168) are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure.
     
    12. A fuel injector as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 11, wherein the leading edges (218) of the vanes (214) of the fourth swirler (170) are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure.
     
    13. A fuel injector as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 12, wherein the radially inner end of each vane of the second swirler is positioned at an apex of a respective arch formed by the radially outer ends of the vanes of the swirler and the upstream end of the second member.
     
    14. A fuel injector as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 13, wherein the radially inner end of each vane of the third swirler is positioned at an apex of a respective arch formed by the radially outer ends of the vanes of the second swirler and the upstream end of the third member.
     
    15. A fuel injector as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 14, wherein the radially inner end of each vane of the fourth swirler is positioned at an apex of a respective arch formed by the radially outer ends of the vanes of the third swirler and the upstream end of the fourth member.
     
    16. A vane structure as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the vane structure comprises a compressor vane structure, a turbine vane structure, a combustor nozzle guide vane structure or a fan outlet guide vane structure, the first member comprises a sector of an annulus and the second member comprises a sector of an annulus, the second member is arranged coaxially with the first member and the plurality of vanes extend radially between the first and second members.
     
    17. A vane structure as claimed in claim 16, wherein the leading edges of the vanes are arranged at a maximum angle of 60° to the axis of the vane structure.
     
    18. A method of manufacturing a vane structure, the vane structure comprising a plurality of vanes, a first member and a second member, the second member being arranged coaxially around the first member, the vanes extending radially between the first and second members, the vanes having first edges and second edges, the first member having a first axial end and a second axial end, the second member having a first axial end and a second axial end, the first axial end of the second member being located at an axial position between the first axial end and the second axial end of the first member, the first edges of the vanes extending with radial and axial components from the first member to the first end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the first edges of the vanes forming arches with the first end of the second member, the method comprising a) depositing a layer of powder metal in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the vane structure, b) moving an energy beam in a predetermined pattern over the layer of powder metal to fuse the powder metal in the predetermined pattern in the layer of powder metal, c) repeating steps a) and b) to produce the vane structure, the vane structure being built up axially from one axial end to the other axial end starting at the first axial end of the first member.
     
    19. A method as claimed in claim 18, wherein the first edges of the vanes are leading edges, the first axial end of the second member (74) is an upstream end, the leading edges of the vanes extend with radial and axial components from the first member to the upstream end of the second member and the radially outer ends of the leading edges of the vanes form arches with the upstream end of the second member.
     
    20. A method as claimed in claim 18 or claim 19, wherein step b) comprises moving a laser beam or an electron beam over the layer of powder metal to fuse the powder metal.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Schaufelstruktur, wobei die Schaufelstruktur Schichten aus Pulvermetall aufweist, die durch einen Energiestrahl verschweißt, verschmolzen oder gesintert wurden, wobei die Schaufelstruktur eine Mehrzahl von Schaufeln (70), ein erstes Element (72) und ein zweites Element (74) aufweist,
    wobei das zweite Element (74) koaxial um das erste Element (72) angeordnet ist, die Schaufeln (70) sich radial zwischen den ersten und zweiten Elementen (72, 74) erstrecken, die Schaufeln (70) erste Kanten (76) und zweite Kanten haben, das erste Element (72) ein erstes axiales Ende und ein zweites axiales Ende hat, wobei das zweite Element (74) ein erstes axiales Ende (78) und ein zweites axiales Ende hat, wobei das erste axiale Ende (78) des zweiten Elements (74) sich an einer axialen Position zwischen dem ersten axialen Ende und dem zweiten axialen Ende des ersten Elements (72) befindet, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die ersten Kanten (76) der Schaufeln (70) sich mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem ersten Element (72) zu dem ersten axialen Ende (78) des zweiten Elements (74) erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden der ersten Kanten der Schaufeln (70) Bögen (82) mit dem ersten axialen Ende (78) des zweiten Elements (74) bilden.
     
    2. Schaufelstruktur nach Anspruch 1, wobei die ersten Kanten (76) der Schaufeln (70) Vorderkanten sind, das erste axiale Ende (78) des zweiten Elements ein stromaufwärts liegendes Ende ist, die Vorderkanten (76) der Schaufeln (70) sich mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem ersten Element (72) zu dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (78) des zweiten Elements (74) erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden der Vorderkanten (76) der Schaufeln (70) Bögen (82) mit dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (78) des zweiten Elements (74) bilden.
     
    3. Kraftstoffinjektor (56), aufweisend einen Verwirbler (64), wobei der Verwirbler (64) die Schaufelstruktur nach Anspruch 2 aufweist.
     
    4. Kraftstoffinjektor nach Anspruch 3, wobei der Kraftstoffinjektor (56) einen zweiten Verwirbler (66) aufweist, der zweite Verwirbler (66) eine Mehrzahl von Schaufeln (84) und ein drittes Element (86) aufweist, wobei das dritte Element (86) koaxial um das zweite Element (74) angeordnet ist, wobei sich die Schaufeln (84) des zweiten Verwirblers (66) radial zwischen den zweiten und dritten Elementen (74, 86) erstrecken, die Schaufeln (84) des zweiten Verwirblers (66) Vorderkanten (88) haben, das dritte Element (86) ein stromaufwärts liegendes Ende (90) hat, die Vorderkanten (88) der Schaufeln (84) des zweiten Verwirblers (66) sich mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (78) des zweiten Elements (74) zu dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (90) des dritten Elements (86) erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden (92) der Vorderkanten (88) der Schaufeln (84) des zweiten Verwirblers (66) Bögen (94) mit dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (90) des dritten Elements (86) bilden.
     
    5. Kraftstoffinjektor nach Anspruch 4, wobei der Kraftstoffinjektor (156) einen dritten Verwirbler (168) aufweist, wobei der dritte Verwirbler (168) eine Mehrzahl von Schaufeln (200) und ein viertes Element (202) aufweist, wobei das vierte Element (202) koaxial um das dritte Element (190) angeordnet ist, wobei sich die Schaufeln (200) des dritten Verwirblers (168) radial zwischen den dritten und vierten Elementen (190, 202) erstrecken, die Schaufeln (200) des dritten Verwirblers (168) Vorderkanten (204) haben, wobei sich die Vorderkanten (204) der Schaufeln (200) des dritten Verwirblers (168) mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (194) des dritten Elements (190) zu dem vierten Element (202) erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden (208) der Vorderkanten (204) der Schaufeln (200) des dritten Verwirblers (168) Bögen mit dem vierten Element (202) bilden.
     
    6. Kraftstoffinjektor nach Anspruch 5, wobei das vierte Element (202) ein stromaufwärts liegendes Ende (212) hat, die Vorderkanten (204) der Schaufeln (200) des dritten Verwirblers (168) sich mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (194) des dritten Elements (190) zu dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (212) des vierten Elements (202) erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden der Vorderkanten (204) der Schaufeln (200) des dritten Verwirblers (168) Bögen mit dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (212) des vierten Elements (202) bilden.
     
    7. Kraftstoffinjektor nach Anspruch 5 oder Anspruch 6, wobei der Kraftstoffinjektor (156) einen vierten Verwirbler (170) aufweist, wobei der vierte Verwirbler (170) eine Mehrzahl von Schaufeln (214) und ein fünftes Element (216) aufweist, wobei das fünfte Element (216) koaxial um das vierte Element (202) angeordnet ist, wobei sich die Schaufeln (214) des vierten Verwirblers (170) radial zwischen den vierten und fünften Elementen (202, 216) erstrecken, die Schaufeln (214) des vierten Verwirblers (170) Vorderkanten (218) haben, wobei sich die Vorderkanten (218) der Schaufeln (214) des vierten Verwirblers (170) mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (212) des vierten Elements (202) zu dem fünften Element (216) erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden (222) der Vorderkanten (218) der Schaufeln (214) des vierten Verwirblers (170) Bögen mit dem fünften Element (216) bilden.
     
    8. Kraftstoffinjektor nach Anspruch 7, wobei das fünfte Element (216) ein stromaufwärts liegendes Ende (220) hat, die Vorderkanten (218) der Schaufeln (214) des vierten Verwirblers (170) sich mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (212) des vierten Elements (202) zu dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (220) des fünften Elements (216) erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden (222) der Vorderkanten (218) der Schaufeln (214) des vierten Verwirblers (170) Bögen mit dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende (220) des fünften Elements (216) bilden.
     
    9. Kraftstoffinjektor nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 8, wobei die Vorderkanten (76) der Schaufeln (70) des Verwirblers (64) in einem maximalen Winkel von 60° zu der Achse der Schaufelstruktur angeordnet sind.
     
    10. Kraftstoffinjektor nach einem der Ansprüche 4 bis 9, wobei die Vorderkanten (88) der Schaufeln (84) des zweiten Verwirblers (66) in einem maximalen Winkel von 60° zu der Achse der Schaufelstruktur angeordnet sind.
     
    11. Kraftstoffinjektor nach einem der Ansprüche 5 bis 10, wobei die Vorderkanten (204) der Schaufeln (200) des dritten Verwirblers (168) in einem maximalen Winkel von 60° zu der Achse der Schaufelstruktur angeordnet sind.
     
    12. Kraftstoffinjektor nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 11, wobei die Vorderkanten (218) der Schaufeln (214) des vierten Verwirblers (170) in einem maximalen Winkel von 60° zu der Achse der Schaufelstruktur angeordnet sind.
     
    13. Kraftstoffinjektor nach einem der Ansprüche 4 bis 12, wobei das radial innere Ende jeder Schaufel des zweiten Verwirblers an einem Scheitelpunkt eines jeweiligen Bogens positioniert ist, der durch die radial äußeren Enden der Schaufeln des Verwirblers und das stromaufwärts liegende Ende des zweiten Elements gebildet wird.
     
    14. Kraftstoffinjektor nach einem der Ansprüche 5 bis 13, wobei das radial innere Ende jeder Schaufel des dritten Verwirblers an einem Scheitelpunkt eines jeweiligen Bogens positioniert ist, der durch die radial äußeren Enden der Schaufeln des zweiten Verwirblers und das stromaufwärts liegende Ende des dritten Elements gebildet wird.
     
    15. Kraftstoffinjektor nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 14, wobei das radial innere Ende jeder Schaufel des vierten Verwirblers an einem Scheitelpunkt eines jeweiligen Bogens positioniert ist, der durch die radial äußeren Enden der Schaufeln des dritten Verwirblers und das stromaufwärts liegende Ende des vierten Elements gebildet wird.
     
    16. Schaufelstruktur nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, wobei die Schaufelstruktur eine Verdichterschaufelstruktur, eine Turbinenschaufelstruktur, eine Brennerdüsenführungs-Schaufelstruktur oder eine Bläserauslassführungs-Schaufelstruktur aufweist, das erste Element einen Bereich eines Ringraums aufweist und das zweite Element einen Bereich eines Ringraums aufweist, wobei das zweite Element koaxial mit dem ersten Element angeordnet ist und die Mehrzahl von Schaufeln sich radial zwischen den ersten und zweiten Elementen erstreckt.
     
    17. Schaufelstruktur nach Anspruch 16, wobei die Vorderkanten der Schaufeln in einem maximalen Winkel von 60° zu der Achse der Schaufelstruktur angeordnet sind.
     
    18. Verfahren zum Herstellen einer Schaufelstruktur, wobei die Schaufelstruktur eine Mehrzahl von schaufeln, ein erstes Element und ein zweites Element aufweist, wobei das zweite Element koaxial um das erste Element angeordnet ist, die Schaufeln sich radial zwischen den ersten und zweiten Elementen erstrecken, wobei die Schaufeln erste Kanten und zweite Kanten haben, wobei das erste Element ein erstes axiales Ende und ein zweites axiales Ende hat, wobei das zweite Element ein erstes axiales Ende und ein zweites axiales Ende hat, wobei das erste axiale Ende des zweiten Elements sich an einer axialen Position zwischen dem ersten axialen Ende und dem zweiten axialen Ende des ersten Elements befindet, die ersten Kanten der Schaufeln sich mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem ersten Element zu dem ersten Ende des zweiten Elements erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden der ersten Kanten der Schaufeln Bögen mit dem ersten Ende des zweiten Elements bilden, wobei das Verfahren a) ein Aufbringen einer Schicht von Pulvermetall in einer Ebene, die senkrecht zu der Achse der Schaufelstruktur ist, b) ein Bewegen eines Energiestrahls in einem vorbestimmten Muster über die Schicht von Pulvermetall zum Verschmelzen des Pulvermetalls in dem vorbestimmten Muster in der Schicht von Pulvermetall, c) ein Wiederholen von Schritt a) und b) aufweist, um die Schaufelstruktur zu erzeugen, wobei die Schaufelstruktur beginnend an dem ersten axialen Ende des ersten Elements axial von einem axialen Ende zu dem anderen axialen Ende aufgebaut wird.
     
    19. Verfahren nach Anspruch 18, wobei die ersten Kanten der Schaufeln Vorderkanten sind, das erste axiale Ende des zweiten Elements (74) ein stromaufwärts liegendes Ende ist, die Vorderkanten der Schaufeln sich mit radialen und axialen Komponenten von dem ersten Element zu dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende des zweiten Elements erstrecken, und die radial äußeren Enden der Vorderkanten der Schaufeln Bögen mit dem stromaufwärts liegenden Ende des zweiten Elements bilden.
     
    20. Verfahren nach Anspruch 18 oder Anspruch 19, wobei Schritt b) ein Bewegen eines Laserstrahls oder eines Elektronenstrahls über die Schicht von Pulvermetall zum Verschmelzen des Pulvermetalls aufweist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Structure d'aubes, la structure d'aubes comprenant des couches de poudre métallique collées, fusionnées ou frittées par un faisceau d'énergie, la structure d'aubes comprenant une pluralité d'aubes (70), un premier élément (72) et un deuxième élément (74),
    le deuxième élément (74) étant agencé coaxialement autour du premier élément (72), les aubes (70) s'étendant radialement entre les premier et deuxième éléments (72, 74), les aubes (70) ayant des premiers bords (76) et deuxièmes bords, le premier élément (72) ayant une première extrémité axiale et une deuxième extrémité axiale, le deuxième élément (74) ayant une première extrémité axiale (78) et une deuxième extrémité axiale, la première extrémité axiale (78) du deuxième élément (74) étant située au niveau d'une position axiale entre la première extrémité axiale et la deuxième extrémité axiale du premier élément (72), caractérisé en ce que les premiers bords (76) des aubes (70) s'étendent avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis le premier élément (72) jusqu'à la première extrémité axiale (78) du deuxième élément (74) et les extrémités radialement externes des premiers bords des aubes (70) forment des arches (82) avec la première extrémité axiale (78) du deuxième élément (74).
     
    2. Structure d'aubes selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle les premiers bords (76) des aubes (70) sont des bords d'attaque, la première extrémité axiale (78) du deuxième élément est une extrémité amont, les bords d'attaque (76) des aubes (70) s'étendent avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis le premier élément (72) jusqu'à l'extrémité amont (78) du deuxième élément (74) et les extrémités radialement externes des bords d'attaque (76) des aubes (70) forment des arches (82) avec l'extrémité amont (78) du deuxième élément (74).
     
    3. Injecteur de carburant (56) comprenant un tourbillonneur (64), dans lequel le tourbillonneur (64) comprend la structure d'aubes selon la revendication 2.
     
    4. Injecteur de carburant selon la revendication 3, dans lequel l'injecteur de carburant (56) comprend un deuxième tourbillonneur (66), le deuxième tourbillonneur (66) comprenant une pluralité d'aubes (84) et un troisième élément (86), le troisième élément (86) étant agencé coaxialement autour du deuxième élément (74), les aubes (84) du deuxième tourbillonneur (66) s'étendant radialement entre les deuxième et troisième éléments (74, 86), les aubes (84) du deuxième tourbillonneur (66) ayant des bords d'attaque (88), le troisième élément (86) ayant une extrémité amont (90), les bords d'attaque (88) des aubes (84) du deuxième tourbillonneur (66) s'étendant avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis l'extrémité amont (78) du deuxième élément (74) jusqu'à l'extrémité amont (90) du troisième élément (86) et les extrémités radialement externes (92) des bords d'attaque (88) des aubes (84) du deuxième tourbillonneur (66) formant des arches (94) avec l'extrémité amont (90) du troisième élément (86).
     
    5. Injecteur de carburant selon la revendication 4, dans lequel l'injecteur de carburant (156) comprend un troisième tourbillonneur (168), le troisième tourbillonneur (168) comprenant une pluralité d'aubes (200) et un quatrième élément (202), le quatrième élément (202) étant agencé coaxialement autour du troisième élément (190), les aubes (200) du troisième tourbillonneur (168) s'étendant radialement entre les troisième et quatrième éléments (190, 202), les aubes (200) du troisième tourbillonneur (168) ayant des bords d'attaque (204), les bords d'attaque (204) des aubes (200) du troisième tourbillonneur (168) s'étendant avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis l'extrémité amont (194) du troisième élément (190) jusqu'au quatrième élément (202) et les extrémités radialement externes (208) des bords d'attaque (204) des aubes (200) du troisième tourbillonneur (168) formant des arches avec le quatrième élément (202).
     
    6. Injecteur de carburant selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le quatrième élément (202) a une extrémité amont (212), les bords d'attaque (204) des aubes (200) du troisième tourbillonneur (168) s'étendent avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis l'extrémité amont (194) du troisième élément (190) jusqu'à l'extrémité amont (212) du quatrième élément (202) et les extrémités radialement externes des bords d'attaque (204) des aubes (200) du troisième tourbillonneur (168)forment des arches avec l'extrémité amont (212) du quatrième élément (202).
     
    7. Injecteur de carburant selon la revendication 5 ou 6, dans lequel l'injecteur de carburant (156) comprend un quatrième tourbillonneur (170), le quatrième tourbillonneur (170) comprenant une pluralité d'aubes (214) et un cinquième élément (216), le cinquième élément (216) étant agencé coaxialement autour du quatrième élément (202), les aubes (214) du quatrième tourbillonneur (170) s'étendant radialement entre les quatrième et cinquième éléments (202, 216), les aubes (214) du quatrième tourbillonneur (170) ayant des bords d'attaque (218), les bords d'attaque (218) des aubes (214) du quatrième tourbillonneur (170) s'étendant avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis l'extrémité amont (212) du quatrième élément (202) jusqu'au cinquième élément (216) et les extrémités radialement externes (222) des bords d'attaque (218) des aubes (214) du quatrième tourbillonneur (170) formant des arches avec le cinquième élément (216).
     
    8. Injecteur de carburant selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le cinquième élément (216) a une extrémité amont (220), les bords d'attaque (218) des aubes (214) du quatrième tourbillonneur (170) s'étendent avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis l'extrémité amont (212) du quatrième élément (202) jusqu'à l'extrémité amont (220) du cinquième élément (216) et les extrémités radialement externes (222) des bords d'attaque (218) des aubes (214) du quatrième tourbillonneur (170) forment des arches avec l'extrémité amont (220) du cinquième élément (216).
     
    9. Injecteur de carburant selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 8, dans lequel les bords d'attaque (76)des aubes (70) du tourbillonneur (64) sont agencés à un angle maximum de 60° par rapport à l'axe de la structure d'aubes.
     
    10. Injecteur de carburant selon l'une quelconque des revendications 4 à 9, dans lequel les bords d'attaque (88)des aubes (84) du deuxième tourbillonneur (66) sont agencés à un angle maximum de 60° par rapport à l'axe de la structure d'aubes.
     
    11. Injecteur de carburant selon l'une quelconque des revendications 5 à 10, dans lequel les bords d'attaque(204) des aubes (200) du troisième tourbillonneur (168) sont agencés à un angle maximum de 60° par rapport à l'axe de la structure d'aubes.
     
    12. Injecteur de carburant selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 à 11, dans lequel les bords d'attaque(218) des aubes (214) du quatrième tourbillonneur (170) sont agencés à un angle maximum de 60° par rapport à l'axe de la structure d'aubes.
     
    13. Injecteur de carburant selon l'une quelconque des revendications 4 à 12, dans lequel l'extrémité radialement interne de chaque aube du deuxième tourbillonneur est positionnée à un sommet d'une arche respective formée par les extrémités radialement externes des aubes du tourbillonneur et l'extrémité amont du deuxième élément.
     
    14. Injecteur de carburant selon l'une quelconque des revendications 5 à 13, dans lequel l'extrémité radialement interne de chaque aube du troisième tourbillonneur est positionnée à un sommet d'une arche respective formée par les extrémités radialement externes des aubes du deuxième tourbillonneur et l'extrémité amont du troisième élément.
     
    15. Injecteur de carburant selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 à 14, dans lequel l'extrémité radialement interne de chaque aube du quatrième tourbillonneur est positionnée à un sommet d'une arche respective formée par les extrémités radialement externes des aubes du troisième tourbillonneur et l'extrémité amont du quatrième élément.
     
    16. Structure d'aubes selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle la structure d'aubes comprend une structure d'aubes de compresseur, une structure d'aubes de turbine, une structure d'aubes directrices de tuyère de combustion ou une structure d'aubes de guidage d'évacuation de ventilateur, le premier élément comprend un secteur d'un anneau et le deuxième élément comprend un secteur d'un anneau, le deuxième élément est agencé coaxialement avec le premier élément et la pluralité d'aubes s'étendent radialement entre les premier et deuxième éléments.
     
    17. Structure d'aubes selon la revendication 16, dans lequel les bords d'attaque des aubes sont agencés à un angle maximum de 60° par rapport à l'axe de la structure d'aubes.
     
    18. Procédé de fabrication d'une structure d'aubes, la structure d'aubes comprenant une pluralité d'aubes, un premier élément et un deuxième élément, le deuxième élément étant agencé coaxialement autour du premier élément, les aubes s'étendant radialement entre les premier et deuxième éléments, les aubes ayant des premiers bords et deuxièmes bords, le premier élément ayant une première extrémité axiale et une deuxième extrémité axiale, le deuxième élément ayant une première extrémité axiale et une deuxième extrémité axiale, la première extrémité axiale du deuxième élément étant située au niveau d'une position axiale entre la première extrémité axiale et la deuxième extrémité axiale du premier élément, les premiers bords des aubes s'étendant avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis le premier élément jusqu'à la première extrémité du deuxième élément et les extrémités radialement externes des premiers bords des aubes formant des arches avec la première extrémité du deuxième élément, le procédé comprenant a) le dépôt d'une couche de poudre métallique dans un plan perpendiculaire à l'axe de la structure d'aubes, b) le déplacement d'un faisceau d'énergie dans un schéma prédéterminé au-dessus de la couche de poudre métallique pour fusionner la poudre métallique dans le schéma prédéterminé dans la couche de poudre métallique, c) la répétition des étapes a) et b) pour produire la structure d'aubes, la structure d'aubes étant formée axialement depuis une extrémité axiale jusqu'à l'autre extrémité axiale en commençant à la première extrémité axiale du premier élément.
     
    19. Procédé selon la revendication 18, dans lequel les premiers bords des aubes sont des bords d'attaque, la première extrémité axiale du deuxième élément (74) est une extrémité amont, les bords d'attaque des aubes s'étendent avec des composants radiaux et axiaux depuis le premier élément jusqu'à l'extrémité amont du deuxième élément et les extrémités radialement externes des bords d'attaque des aubes forment des arches avec l'extrémité amont du deuxième élément.
     
    20. Procédé selon la revendication 18 ou 19, dans lequel l'étape b) comprend le déplacement d'un faisceau laser ou d'un faisceau d'électron au-dessus de la couche de poudre métallique pour fusionner la poudre métallique.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description