Velo3D Inc., a provider of metal additive-manufacturing (AM) technology, delivered a 3D printer to Knust-Godwin, a precision contract manufacturer. The acquisition of a laser powder-bed fusion printer further expands Knust-Godwin’s AM offering by unlocking high-volume production and lower costs for its largest customers. The Sapphire XC will be installed in the company’s Katy, Texas facility, and is calibrated for Inconel 718. It is capable of producing prints that are 600 mm (23.5 inches) in diameter and 550 mm (21.5 inches) high, and it uses eight 1-kilowatt lasers to produce parts.
Ipsen’s Vacuum Technology Excellence Center received orders for 22 vacuum furnaces during the first quarter of 2022. These orders spanned industries including automotive, additive manufacturing, aerospace, commercial heat treating, and tool and die. The company will design and supply models including large vertical bottom-loading units for aerospace to small vacuum debind and sinter furnaces for additive manufacturing. Other orders included those for Ipsen’s AvaC low-pressure carburizing furnace and high-pressure gas quenching used in conjunction with vacuum compression brazing.
Linde is developing a dedicated laboratory to advance the understanding of the parameters and behavior of atmospheric gases used in the manufacture of metal powders. The lab, which is scheduled to become operational mid-2022, will enable Linde to develop new technologies to improve the atomization process – particularly increasing yield and process stability. The facility’s focal point will be a much smaller-scale version (5.25 feet high) of a typical atomizer. Linde will also collaborate with powder manufacturers and OEMs to help them test specific gas behaviors on the test bench, allowing them to then scale up the results on their large atomizers.
Sciaky Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries (PSI), will deliver what it says is the world’s largest electron-beam directed energy deposition (DED) 3D printer to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The customized electron-beam additive-manufacturing (EBAM) system is going to TAI’s Ankara plant, where it will 3D print some of the largest titanium aerostructures in the industry. The machine’s work envelope stretches beyond 19.7 feet (6 meters) long x 6.5 Feet (2 meters) wide x 5.9 feet (1.8 meters) high. Deposition rates will exceed 20 kg of metal per hour for many metal alloys.
Sulzer opened a laser metal deposition (LMD) facility at its Houston Service Center in La Porte, Texas. The advanced additive-manufacturing process will provide multiple benefits for the company’s turbomachinery repair and upgrade projects. Sulzer’s HICoat Division will offer LMD services for a range of materials. According to Sulzer, LMD creates a metallurgical bond that ensures excellent bonding with parent materials and increased consistency of material density, which is ideal for challenging rotor or shaft repairs.
In 2021, Solar Atmospheres of Western PA reported it was retrofitting a vacuum furnace for use in a new metal injection molding (MIM) and additive manufacturing (AM) binder-removal technology application. The goal was to build a vacuum sintering furnace with a hot zone and pumping technology that would minimize and target the deposit of detrimental binders evaporating out of MIM and AM parts. The furnace has been in production for over a month and produced multiple high-temperature sintering cycles with positive results.
Resiliency concerns revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic are driving companies to embrace sustainable manufacturing for post-pandemic supply chains. Supply-chain sustainability is the management of environmental, social and economic impacts. Reshoring checks all of the sustainability boxes since it reduces environmental impact, has a positive societal effect and stimulates economic activity.
Since January is the month we try to focus on new technologies and products impacting the thermal-processing industry, let’s take a look at some recent news items that have come across my desk (or rather appeared in my inbox).
Solar Atmospheres of California (SCA) added a small vacuum furnace to support its research-and-development and additive-manufacturing projects. Procured from Solar Manufacturing, SCA’s furnace manufacturing sister facility in Sellersville, Pa., the furnace was specifically designed to process a variety of materials between 600-2400°F (+/-10°F) in both vacuum and/or partial-pressure environments. Precise cooling capability up to 2-Bar in argon, nitrogen or helium is available with a maximum operating temperature of 2650°F (1455°C). The furnace is also equipped with the SolarVac Polaris control system for optimum performance and precise cycle control.