Careful disassembly increases sustainability of products

The challenge: Turbine blades and discs are subject to high temperatures and centrifugal forces which makes disassembly more difficult. (Photo: Pixabay.com)

match | Above all, high-quality goods shall be disassembled at the end of their lifetime, either to get them repaired or to reuse their components. This can be achieved by component-friendly disassembly processes, increasing sustainable reuse of products considerably.

When a product is damaged or has reached the end of its lifetime, it is disassembled into its single components. Damaged parts can be replaced, still functioning parts can be utilised further. However, highly stressed products and even apparently undamaged connections can solidify due to extreme temperatures or forces during operation. For example, solidification occurs in aircraft engines - an application example investigated at the Institute of Assembly Technology (match).

The researchers are presently developing an automated approach for the disassembly of turbine blades. Another aim is to be able to estimate the disassembly forces already in the planning phase. This is achieved by determining the forces required throughout the disassembly process and assigning them to the product history. Research also includes the handling of the disassembly objects. The result: a complete disassembly process. The idea is that robots withdraw the blade and assemble a workpiece carrier.

by Julius Wolff

Image gallery for this article

  • The challenge: Turbine blades and discs are subject to high temperatures and centrifugal forces which makes disassembly more difficult. (Photo: Pixabay.com)
  • Negative example: Solidified connections make disassembly more complicated, because the single components have either become porous or form a tight connection. (Photo: pixabay.com)
  • Process flow: Damage-free disassembly and later reassembly are required for an efficient regeneration of products and its sustainability on the whole. (Source: match/Pixabay.com)
  • Due to environmental influences during operation, the turbine blades have formed a solidified connection with the turbine disc. (Source: match)
  • The solution: A disassembly robot equipped with an impact-generating tool loosens the turbine blades automatedly. (Source: match)
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