AM ResearchResearch & Education

70 micron flexible tungsten 3D printed by TWI takes thin walls to new level

TWI and AMable also launch open call for new functional AM product ideas

Tomas Maccio, Laboratories Team Leader Additive Manufacturing at TWI, published an impressive video showing highly flexible 3D printed sheets of… tungsten. The term flexible tungsten is rarely seen as tungsten, a refractory metal, is known as one of the toughest things found in nature. It is super dense and almost impossible to melt. It is very resistant to corrosion and has the highest melting point and highest tensile strength of any element. Its strength comes when it is made into compounds, though. Pure tungsten is actually very soft.

In this case, 20 sheets of tungsten were produced at TWI Yorkshire to trial a minimum wall thickness, using M&I Materials Limited, Wolfmet Tungsten Heavy Alloys feedstock. A wall thickness of 70 um was achieved along with the amazing flexibility you can see in the video above.

For those who are not familiar with the organization, TWI provides companies with support covering every aspect of metal additive manufacturing (AM), from simple feasibility and fabrication projects to full adoption and integration of metal AM systems.

flexible tungstenTWI – as part of the EC-funded AMable project – just launched a new call, looking for proposals with challenging ideas for additively manufactured functional products. Successful applicants have the opportunity to win up to €60k for their project idea as well as access to the AMable Services Arena (Submission deadline is November, 1st, 2020, 17.00 hrs, Brussels time).

TWI is a consortium member of the EC-funded AMable project, which provides funding and expert guidance to SMEs with innovative product ideas that can be realized through additive manufacturing.

The service arena brings together all the knowledge and capabilities of the AMable consortium, including TWI, and provides unbiased AM expertise to the SMEs during their project. The services aim to support and upskill employees across a number of relevant topics that are tailored to the individual project including; Design for AM, Modelling and Simulation, and Quality Assurance and Road to Certification.

Previous successful proposals cover a wide variety of different topics and AM technologies such as personalized high-performance prosthesis adapters, wire-arc additive manufacturing of titanium, and lattice design for sports helmets and PPE.

As well as completing one-off manufacturing contracts, we can offer complete guidance relating to every stage of the AM adoption process for businesses considering acquiring this technology. We can also help companies already using it to maximize the effectiveness of the process.

Our AM support covers everything from initial feasibility studies and business case proposals, numerical modeling and topology optimization, and material and process selection, to finishing, heat treatments, testing, certification and validation, as well as relevant standards.

For those who are new to additive manufacturing or anyone who wishes to expand their use of the process, TWI has created a dedicated technology transfer project, which offers companies seven days of free, targeted technical support based upon our knowledge, experience, and expertise in this area.

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Research 2020
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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst for leading US-firm SmarTech Analysis, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he Co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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