11 FEB 2021 

A new generation of technology holds the promise of revolutionizing some of the most traditional elements of the shipping industry.  Recently, the classification society Bureau Veritas (BV), responsible for testing and inspection, certified a new-generation 3D printed propeller.

The propeller, which was manufactured by the Naval Group achieved several significant milestones, including becoming the largest metal 3D-printed propeller ever manufactured. It was also the first one made using additive manufacturing technology to equip a military ship in operation. With its 2.5-meter span supported by five 200-kg blades, this new-generation propeller was mounted on a Tripartite-class minehunter.

Emmanuel Chol, Director of the Naval Group Nantes-Indret site explains that the goal was to bring the WAAM (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) process from its research & development stage to actionable industrial standards. He notes that including Bureau Veritas from the beginning of the project was vital to achieving their results. “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.”

Obtaining military naval quality requires rigorous development says Naval Group. Bureau Veritas was involved at every step of the manufacturing and testing process. BV’s technical expertise was used to define the qualification plan for the process as well as to define the production testing and inspection plan for the 3D printed parts. BV also witnessed the manufacturing steps and testing, verifying the quality records and test reports.

Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, commented: “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. This technology is promising and opens the room for further, more complex, innovations in additive manufacturing.”


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