Optomec Shares Results of 3D Metal AM Study

Study validated the repeatability and transferability of the Optomec LENS metal additive manufacturing process, according to Optomec officials.
Optomec is sharing the results of a three-year study that it says validates the repeatability and transferability of the Optomec LENS metal additive manufacturing process.

Aerospace OEMs and technical experts participated in the study, which was performed on different LENS metal additive manufacturing systems at different locations. Using the same processing parameters, Optomec says the printing results from each LENS system were consistent and repeatable, exhibiting tensile and fatigue properties equal to or better than wrought Titanium Ti-6-4 material. The ability to achieve repeatable machine to machine high quality printing results can address challenges faced by the U.S. Air Force, and provides a framework for the future adoption of metal additive manufacturing for repair and remanufacturing throughout the aircraft industry.

This study, sponsored by America Makes, included participation by industry leaders GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies Research Center, Rolls Royce, as well as a group of technical experts serving as contributors including Edison Welding Institute (EWI), Connecticut Center of Advanced Technology (CCAT), University of Connecticut, TechSolve, The Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Lab (ARL) and Concurrent Technologies Corporation.

The study evaluated over 200 process elements and corresponding results spanning the entire metal additive manufacturing process from powder optimization, process development, process monitoring and controls, part measurement, non-destructive testing and post-processing. This additive manufacturing study demonstrated the benefits of LENS powder-fed directed energy deposition technology over traditional welding techniques for the repair and remanufacturing of high-value aerospace components required to cost effectively sustain assets, according to the company.

“This effort has set a foundation the industry can build on to implement LENS processing for sustainment as well as new production,” says Henry Phelps, senior staff engineer at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.  “It established a set of feedstock requirements and build parameters for aerospace component repairs as well as identifying areas for future capability enhancement.”

For more info, visit Optomec.

Sources: Press materials received from the company.

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