World’s largest 3-D printed metal propeller gains BV certification

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Propeller was produced at Naval Group’s Nantes-Indret site. [Image: Naval Group]

Bureau Veritas (BV) has certified what it says is the largest metal 3-D printed propeller ever manufactured, and the first propeller made using additive manufacturing technology to be used to equip an operational military ship.

Manufactured by France’s Naval Group, the propeller has a 2.5 meter diameter and five 200 kg blades and will be mounted on a Tripartite-class minehunter.

Attaining military grade naval quality standards requires rigorous development.

Bureau Veritas has been involved at every step of the propeller’s manufacturing and testing process. BV worked closely with Naval Group throughout the process to:

  • Define the qualification plan for the process
  • Define the production testing and inspection plan for the 3D printed parts
  • Witness manufacturing steps and testing
  • Verify the quality records and test reports

“Being the trusted certification partner for this innovative and demanding project has been an opportunity to demonstrate how Bureau Veritas brings expertise and added-value as a partner for innovation,” said Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore. “This technology is promising and opens the door for further, more complex, innovations in additive manufacturing.”

“Including Bureau Veritas from the very beginning was vital for us to reach our goal of bringing the WAAM (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) process from its research & development stage to actionable industrial standards.” said Emmanuel Chol, Director of Naval Group’s Nantes-Indret site. In this regard, we are very proud to have obtained BV’s certification of the 3D-printed propeller blades, reflecting the industrial maturity of Naval Group as well as our capacity to meet the highest and most rigorous of standards.”

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