Metal AMS
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68 - XXL Metal Additive Manufacturing : technological challenges and opportunities.


Metal additive manufacturing is currently experiencing strong growth. Until recently it had been confined to reduced dimensions, but now new large-format applications are emerging based on the use of PBF machines with multi-lasers technology, but also on the DED (Directed Energy Deposition) processes, which is not limited by the size of the building chamber. IREPA LASER has developed a new DED technology capable of manufacturing or repairing XXL parts that can reach up to 5 metres in length and weigh up to 5 tonnes. Based on the experience of fairly large parts production within previous projects, IREPA LASER decided to launch a new project (French government aided project named PAMPROD) to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing large parts, over 2 m in diameter, based on new manufacturing techniques integrated into a hybrid bi-robot XXL installation. This hybrid technology consists of the association of 2 processes: a powder deposition (DED CLAD-p) and a wire deposition (DED CLAD-w, patented by IREPA LASER), both melted by a laser beam (power 10 kW). The two processes are complementary: one (wire-based) makes it possible to reach very high raw construction speeds (today up to 850 cm3/h) and we are aiming for even higher speeds (more than 1000 cm3/h) while the other (powder-based) reaches more than 350 cm3/h but can work more accurately at lower build speeds. It is thus possible to manufacture preforms at high speed with one nozzle, and to add elements in a precise and localized way to the preform or an existing part with the second nozzle. The wire-based solution uses several wires injected laterally in relation to the central laser beam, allowing multidirectional operation and achieving high deposition rates with standard diameter wires. Several materials have already been tested and validated such as stainless steels (e.g. SS316L), nickel-based alloys (e.g. Ni625), and special steels, but also aluminum alloys, with excellent metallurgical qualities and extremely low levels of porosity. The latest work aims to produce large or even very large parts. Although needs exist in the aeronautical and space sectors, we are also considering other sectors of activity (nuclear, energy, railway, …) with strong industrial challenges. Thus some industrial application cases examples will be presented. At the end of this work, the AMFREE company was created, responsible for marketing XXL AM solutions, exploiting the results of all these developments.



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68 - XXL Metal Additive Manufacturing : technological challenges and opportunities.



4:40 pm -5:00 pm


Room 6