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Voxel Based Material Design: Amalgamation of Additive Manufacturing and Scanning Electron Microscopy

Project description

Electrons that wear two hats support aerospace additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM), a bottom-up approach that ‘adds’ successive layers to produce a component, has reduced the cost, time and materials’ waste of aerospace parts production while enhancing the design space and properties. Powder bed fusion-electron beam (PBF-EB) AM begins with metal powders that are melted to form the layers. The challenge is to control the AM process to ensure the desired local materials properties. The EU-funded AMELI project will integrate PBF-EB AM with powerful scanning electron microscopy widely used in research for materials’ analysis. The resulting complex heat source for melting together with unprecedented process analysis will overcome current barriers and pave the way to enhanced performance of complex aerospace parts.


AMELI aims to exploit the potential of the layer-by-layer approach of metal powder bed based additive manufacturing to blaze the way to a groundbreaking new design freedom in manufacturing: Voxel based material design. If successful, AMELI will solve one of the most important challenges in metal-based manufacturing of high performance components: Control and adaption of the local material properties. In order to reach this aim, AMELI will amalgamate the potential of powder bed based electron beam additive manufacturing (PBF-EL) with the analytic power of electron scanning microscopy (SEM). AMELI will to push the performance limits of components made of high performance alloys for demanding applications as required e.g. for aviation or power generation. The applications comprise components for aircraft and land-based gas turbines to increase the efficiency and to reduce emissions as well as parts for hydrogen generation for regenerative energy generation. Thus, AMELI will contribute to sustainable energy supply and mobility. Prerequisite to realize voxel based material design is to reach full control of the local thermal conditions during material creation. This requires numerical tools to predict the corresponding digital processes, the possibility to realize these processes and unparalleled process and material analysis for control. We target to accomplish this by combining cutting-edge process technology, forefront process modeling and unprecedented analysis based on electron inspection. AMELI is based on a pioneering PBF-EL technology to realize both, complex and very dynamic heat sources for local material property control and a probe for electron analysis leading to an unmatched depth of process information. Only this combination will eventually enable us to implement cutting-edge digital processes and process monitoring as fundament for closed-loop process control to demonstrate voxel based material design in complex high-performance components.


Net EU contribution
€ 2 945 003,00
Schlossplatz 4
91054 Erlangen

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Bayern Mittelfranken Erlangen, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)