THE Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed single crystal blades technology and has supplied 60 of these blades to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) as part of their indigenous helicopter development programme for helicopter engine application. This is part of a programme taken up by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a premium laboratory of the DRDO, to develop 5 sets (300 numbers) of single crystal high pressure turbine (HPT) blades using a nickel-based super alloy. The supply of remaining 4 sets will be completed in due course, the DRDO said on Monday.
Helicopters, used in strategic and defence applications, need compact and powerful aero-engines for their reliable operation at extreme conditions. To achieve this, state-of-the-art single crystal blades having complex shape and geometry, manufactured out of nickel-based superalloys capable of withstanding high temperatures of operation are used. Very few countries in the world such as the US, the UK, France, and Russia have the capability to design and manufacture such single crystal (SX) components.