Standards organization ASTM International has announced a partnership with three UK-based organizations—the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Innovate UK and the British Standards Institution (BSI). Through the collaboration, the partners will aim to fast track the establishment of technical standards to drive the additive manufacturing industry.
It is now a commonly accepted reality that standardization is one of the big hurdles in the industrialization and proliferation of additive manufacturing. Fortunately, it is not an insurmountable hurdle, as organizations, governments and companies are cooperating to establish standards and regulations for the burgeoning industrial technology.
ASTM International has played an important role in recent years for the creation of AM standards, establishing Additive Manufacturing Centres of Excellence around the globe. At its UK-based Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, founded in partnership with the MTC, ASTM International recently identified three potential areas for standardization.
The further explore these three areas and to bring about standards that meet industrial requirements, ASTM International and BSI have received an investment of £300,000 from UK government agency Innovate UK.
The three focus areas are all related to directed energy deposition (DED), itself one of seven categories of additive manufacturing defined by ASTM International and ISO. The three standards to be developed for DED are:
- A specification for using wire as a DED feed-stock, helping address key requirements including composition, dimensional tolerances, contamination, packaging, handling, and storage
- A standard for nondestructive testing (NDT) which aims to address typical causes and natures of DED defects while also reviewing traditional test methods for applicability to DED
- A standard for DED wire-and-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM), which aims to cover terminology, material opportunities and restrictions, geometrical constraints, finishing requirements, inspection, and more
“Innovate UK is pleased to support the creation of Publicly Available Specifications to help drive economic growth through innovation in high-value manufacturing,” commented Robin Wilson, the innovation lead for high value manufacturing at Innovate UK. “This is a smart partnership that brings together UK expertise in key areas of additive manufacturing along with the infrastructure and leadership of ASTM International and its young center of excellence.”
The development of the three standards will be coordinated by BSI. Ultimately, the standards are aimed at helping the industry to better understand both the benefits and limitations of DED. “DED is not as widely used nor understood as some of the other additive manufacturing processes,” said Dr. Mohsen Seifi, ASTM’s global AM director. “Lack of standards are quite evident. Among their many benefits, these new standards have the potential to help manufacturers and suppliers make products with consistent and reliable quality.”
Notably, the development of the DED standards will also be done in collaboration with a number of industry experts, including Airbus, GE, GKN, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and others. Once the specifications are created by the BSI, ASTM says it plans to adapt the standards internationally through a new licensing agreement.