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DRDO develops single crystal blades for helicopter engines

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed single crystal blades that are used in helicopter engines and it has supplied 60 of them to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the company's indigenous helicopter development programme, an official statement said on Monday.

Single crystal blades – having complex shape and geometry – are manufactured out of nickel-based superalloys that are capable of withstanding high temperatures, it noted.

Helicopters used in strategic and defence applications need compact and powerful aero-engines for their reliable operation at extreme conditions, the statement mentioned.

"The DRDO has developed single crystal blades technology and supplied 60 of these blades to HAL as part of their indigenous helicopter development programme for helicopter engine application," it stated.

The DRDO will develop total five sets (300 blades) of single crystal blades.

While one set (60 blades) has been delivered to HAL, the remaining four will be "completed in due course", the statement said.

This single crystal blades technology has been developed by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), one of the DRDO's laboratories, it noted.

Few countries such as the US, the UK, France and Russia have the capability to design and manufacture single crystal components, the statement said.

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