Airbus Installs Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing System for Aircraft Parts
Shane Laros posted on December 13, 2016 |
Sciaky EBAM system uses wire feedstock to print titanium, Inconel, stainless steels and more.
(Image courtesy of Sciaky Inc.)
(Image courtesy of Sciaky Inc.)

News about 3D printing in the manufacturing sector always gets me excited. Not only does the process make sense from an efficiency standpoint, with the ability to create one-offs and prototypes without heading to the foundry, but it could change the design landscape in many industries.

Airbus has stepped up its additive manufacturing (AM) potential with the recent installation of a Sciaky Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) 110 System.

Sciaky’s EBAM process utilizes a fully articulated, electron beam gun to deposit metal via wire feedstock, layer by layer, until the part reaches near-net shape. From there, the part requires heat treatment and post-production machining.

The system can accommodate a wide variety of metals and refractory alloys, such as titanium, tantalum, niobium, tungsten, Inconel and stainless steels, with gross deposition rates ranging from 7-20 lbs. (3.18 to 9.07 kg) of metal per hour.

The EBAM 110 offers a work envelope of 70" (1778 mm) x 47" (1194 mm) x 63" (1600 mm) in a 110” (2794 mm) cube chamber. 

(Diagram courtesy of Sciaky Inc.)
(Diagram courtesy of Sciaky Inc.)

Sciaky EBAM Systems use an Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System (IRISS) to sense and digitally self-adjust metal deposition, allowing for consistent part geometry, mechanical properties, microstructure and metal chemistry.

The addition of the EBAM 110 System follows Airbus’ earlier work with Stratasys in standardizing a thermoplastic resin mixture that can stand up to the stringent requirements of the aerospace industry. This metal-fed AM system could greatly extend the range of parts available to be printed.

Using wire feedstock over other metal AM processes such as metal powders can, according to Sciaky, offer increased savings, metal options and safety.

While processes are being developed to improve the quality and alloy properties of metal powders, it may be easier for manufacturers to find the right alloy for their AM needs in a wire format.

"Sciaky is very proud to partner with a world-class innovator like Airbus," said Bob Phillips, VP of marketing for Sciaky, Inc.

"We all know that metal 3D printing technology is going to revolutionize manufacturing in the aerospace industry and Sciaky is committed to being at the forefront of this movement."

For more information, visit the Sciaky website, and view their line up of industrial AM Solutions.

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