Aerospace manufacturers are increasingly using 3D printing for functional aircraft components. When the Flying Test Bed A aircraft from Airbus hits the skies later this year, it will mark a major milestone in aerospace manufacturing. That is because the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine powering the aircraft will be equipped with the largest civil aero-engine component ever built using 3D-printing techniques.
The method relies on a combination of metal powder at high velocity and energy to make dense parts. The melting of metal parts layer by layer revolutionized the art of manufacturing reliable parts. The technology offers geometry freedom and flexibility when working with first class constituents.
The strategy in development not only applies to steel and titanium alloys but also other conductive metals. The primary motivation of the technique builds on the creation of excellent materials at high speeds Koptioug et al. The methods rely on a Computer-aided design CAD to assist in modification and optimization of complex parts.
This application facilitates the customization of parts into a form hard to attain through traditional methods such as lead, sand, or investment casting. The use of the CAD allows for the fast production of fully functioning high geometry parts. This hastened process allows for a designer to have a fully working functional detail within 24 hours.
The idea of CAD to Metal technology relies on a compilation of metal layers of powder melted by an electron beam. The melting occurs to the precision of the geometry stipulated by the CAD program. The first step involves designing the intended structure through a CAD program Ptc. The nest step includes the transfer of the file to a processing software where the model undergoes manipulation inside a vacuum chamber.
After completion, the net shape undergoes end through conventional methods. The layering of metal layers occurs through melting with an electron gun.
The gun produces a stream of electrons from the filament. The beam then focuses on the model partly being deflected to reach the entire region. The stream carries high energy from the accelerated electrons that vibrate against each other.
The beam passes through an electric field at half the acceleration of light. The stream of particles passes through two magnetic lenses: The requirements for the process are powdered metal and an electron gun.
The vacuum should be regulated within to mbars, to allow for the elimination of impurities and establishment of a decent milieu for freeform fabrication.
The electrons move with a kinetic energy of 60 KeV, they are then controlled to a range of 1 to 50 mA and further focused down to 0. The resultant typical layer will then range from 0. Moreover, the computerized beam controls new contours and features to the model.
The advantages of using the EMB are countless. The technology allows attainment of uniqueness in design and application. The production of parts for aerospace and motor industries has become easier, faster, and efficient. Furthermore, the time and cost of machining have been leaned out allowing for ready availability of parts for installation and analysis.
The EMB allows the application of a variety of metals as possible powdered components. In a bid to obtain massive and high tensile parts, the use of a high-density electron beam proves invaluable. This unique quality potentiates the different application of the technique to a variety of metals such as Steel, Aluminum, Titanium, and Cobalt.
The ability to work with these metals also allows the creation of super alloys with low density, corrosion resistant, with high mechanical forte and with suitable biocompatible the case with biomedical applications. The step by step layering not only allows for geometry freedom but also the fabrication of the compound features.
This application is valuable during bioprinting parts to match the anatomy and biology of the implant. Most of the body organs are porous to allow for smooth passage of blood and other fluids, and EMB allows for installation of such convoluted structures. Additionally, it helps in creating meshed and cellular surfaces obtainable with the aid of a well-programmed CAD.
The most prominent use of sophisticated surfaces forms the working principle of the temporomandibular joint prosthesis — the hardware employed by NASA astronauts to breathe in space. The limitation of the EMB cover the low output volumes and environmental risk to the operators.
The stream of electrons has the potential to produce X-rays, a popular carcinogenic. Therefore, the working areas should be heavily leaded to prevent leaking of these rays.
Additionally, the application of the vacuum provides additional cost compared to traditional methods of metal casting.George TS has done his Master’s in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering from NITK Surathkal and has last worked as a Research Associate working on the development of an Intracranial stent at the Sree Chitra Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.
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Study on Bilinear Scheme and Application to Three-dimensional Convective Equation (Itaru Hataue and Yosuke Matsuda). Electron Based Additive Layer Manufacturing The application of electron-based additive manufacturing ranges from rapid prototyping, tooling, and biomedical engineering.
The method relies on a combination of metal powder at high velocity and energy to make dense parts. Robin De Morgan is an independent investment banking professional and Chartered Accountant from the United Kingdom, with experience of property and infrastructure .
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