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Electron Beam melting (EBM) and selective laser melting (SLM) are the most adopted powder-bed additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for production of some aerospace engine components and medical implants based on Ti-alloys, where technology has proven its weight saving nature and explicit design freedom. The project goal is to extend application of the EBM and SLM techniques to next materials and applications namely manufacturing of the difficult-to-build by AM precipitation hardening Ni-based superalloys for high-temperature applications in gas turbine components (Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB) and components for rocket engines (GKN Aerospace). Particular research focus will be placed on the importance of the base powder characteristics (powder size, morphology, rheology and especially surface chemistry) and its effect on AM manufacturing process and final component properties. This will result in development of the knowledge base concerning required powder properties for the stat-o-the-art and emerging AM applications. This is of strategic importance for the Swedish powder manufacturers to enter the fast-growing market of the materials for AM. Hence, a successful project execution will allow for development of base power material as well as design and manufacturing strategies for AM fabrication of high-value components based on Ni-based superalloys. This will allow for significantly shorter development time and decrease the weight of the high-value components through combination of improved design and properties. The demonstrator components, produced in the project, will be used to prove proposed concept and inspire future product development of light weight components fabricated by AM.

Participating researchers
Joel Andersson
Asun Valiente
Kjell Hurtig
Mats Högström

Collaboration partners
Swerea KIMAB
GKN Aerospace
Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery
Swerea IVF

External funding from

2015 - 2018