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With additive manufacturing it’s possible to produce more efficient and more environmentally friendly aircraft engines. Photo: Airbus

Interest from industry and researchers in additive manufacturing has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. In the SUMAN-Next project, the research team, together with six industrial companies, has taken the technology one step closer to application within industry.

“Together, we have succeeded in creating new, internationally recognised research in the field. We have captured the entire chain from materials science and process development to the end user’s product,” says Project Manager Per Nylén, a professor of production technology, University West.

“At the same time, we have broadened our collaboration with companies, which is very valuable for our applied research.

University West began the three-year SUMAN-Next research project in 2017 with funding from the Knowledge Foundation. The overall goal has been to understand the relationships between process, microstructures and mechanical properties in powder bed fusion metal-based additive manufacturing.

The researchers have mainly focused on the superalloy 718, which can withstand high temperatures and loads. Superalloy 718 is a strategically important material because it makes up more than 50 per cent of the materials used in aircraft engines, for example. But the research results can also be applied to more material types and other industries, including offshore industries.

Read more about how the researchers and industry see the results from SUMAN-Next. 

Research in the field continues in the PODFAM project.