Additive layer manufacturing for aerospace parts
Additive layer manufacturing
ES Technology has revealed that additive layer manufacturing (ALM) for direct part production has been embraced by a number of manufacturing sectors, not least the aerospace industry The ability to produce components in a range of materials including hot-work steels, stainless steel, cobalt chromes and Inconel, plus titanium and aluminium alloys, presents the aerospace industry with large potential for direct part production using ALM. ALM has already been used to produce small and medium-sized aerospace components, and having realised the potential of the process, aerospace manufacturers are seeking to produce larger, more complex parts. Material Solutions operates an ALM applications development centre with a particular focus on the aerospace sector. Carl Brancher of Material Solutions, said: 'ALM in high-performance materials is well suited for complex thin-walled structures in gas turbines. 'However, as a new technology it is not yet well understood or validated by potential users and, like all manufacturing processes, to get the best from metal ALM requires the designer to understand the process capabilities and materials' mechanical properties,' he added. Brancher said Materials Solutions is bridging this gap by providing manufactured parts, consulting (principally to the aerospace market), and working with equipment and materials vendors to develop the technology for mass production. The collaboration between Material Solutions and its industry clients has so far led to the production of a range of components over the last three years. This programme has now reached the limit of component size that can be produced using the existing Material Solutions ALM systems. With the continuing pressure from aerospace manufacturers to develop the capability to produce larger parts, Material Solutions turned to Concept Laser to explore the potential for building larger...
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