Additive Manufacturing

The right gas for 3D-printing

| Editor: Steffen Donath

The final goal of the project is the production of parts for use in the aerospace industry.
The final goal of the project is the production of parts for use in the aerospace industry. (Source: Gefertec)

Gefertec is collaborating to determine the right gas for 3D-printing to meet the standards of the aerospace industry.

Additive manufacturing is a promising approach for timesaving production of parts in many industry sectors. The new methods are especially interesting for aerospace industries, when expensive materials like titanium are used. Gefertec GmbH established a new industrial standard for additive manufacturing – 3DMP®. This technology uses well-proven electric arc welding and is therefore benefiting from wire as original material. The near-net-shaped part is formed welding layer by welding layer. After 3D printing the part can be further machined by conventional milling. For larger parts, this technology is faster and more cost-effective compared to other methods based on powder as original material.

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The result of the arc welding process depends heavily on various parameters – especially from the process gas. Gefertec GmbH and Linde AG started a joint research project, to investigate the influence of the process gas and the oxygen percentage on the 3D-printing process. Another partner in the research project is MT Aerospace AG, which will perform the mechanical tests of the produced parts. The actual 3D-printing will take place at the additive manufacturing laboratory of Fraunhofer IGCV – the fourth co-operation partner, where Gefertec installs the 3D-printing system. Subsequently, the influence of welding parameters and process gas on the parts will be examined. Final goal of the project is the production of lager parts at high production speed made of the titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, which meet the quality requirements of the aerospace industry.

This article was first published by ETMM.

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