Metal AM specialist Sciaky, Inc. has announced a research and development partnership with high performance alloy processor Aubert & Duval and aerospace company Airbus. The collaboration, which is driven by the Saint Exupéry Institute for Research in Technology (IRT), will aim to combine traditional metallurgy with newer wire-fed metal 3D printing processes to establish new manufacturing methods for producing aircraft parts made from titanium alloys.
The R&D project, called Metallic Advanced Materials for Aeronautics (MAMA), will specifically investigate how to leverage Sciaky’s electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) technology with more traditional high-power closed die forging techniques for the purpose of producing titanium aircraft parts.
The first phase of the MAMA project is supported by global funding of €4.2 million, of which 50% is from the French state as part of its “Investing in the Future” program (also known as Programme Investissement d’Avenir). The other half of the funding is provided by industrial partners.
“Sciaky is proud to work with the Saint Exupéry IRT, Aubert & Duval and Airbus on this exciting project,” commented Scott Phillips, President and CEO of Sciaky, Inc. “Industrial metal additive manufacturing technology continues to break new ground every day, and Sciaky is committed to keeping EBAM at the forefront of this movement.”
Sciaky’s EBAM technology is recognized as one of the most scalable metal AM solutions in the industry, as its build volume capacity can range from 8 inches to 19 feet (20.3 cm to 579 cm) in length. The process, which uses a wire-fed approach, is also one of the fastest deposition processes in metal additive manufacturing, capable of achieving rates of up to 25 lbs of metal per hour.
In addition to its size and speed, Sciaky emphasizes the EBAM process’ print quality, which is in large part owed to the technology’s Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System (IRISS). The system is reportedly the only real-time adaptive control system currently on the metal AM market which is capable of not only sensing but also adjusting metal deposition for high precision and repeatable parts.
The MAMA project will see Sciaky collaborate closely with Aubert & Duval, Airbus, Saint Exupéry IRT and the Production Engineering laboratory of the National School of Engineering in Tarbes, France, which will act as academic partner for the project.