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Periodic Report Summary 3 - AMAZE (Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste & Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products)

Project Context and Objectives:
The AMAZE Project is an EC-funded integrated project in the field of additive manufacturing (AM).
The project has the ambition to make the best quality metallurgical products ever made, by using layer-upon-layer melt deposition of advanced alloys. This manufacturing technology has great promise as a future production technique, but it is not mature enough today to be used broadly by industry.
Therefore, there is a strong motivation within the AMAZE consortium to bring additive manufacturing from the margins into the mainstream by 2017. A great economic opportunity could emerge if additive manufacturing were to be used industrially as a resource-efficient, waste-minimising process.
The main objectives of AMAZE are to perform the necessary R&D, design work, quality control and standardisation, in order for AM to become a normalised industrial process with disruptive capacity. The project also aims to significantly suppress the number of interfaces and assembly steps during component production, and achieve 50% cost reduction for finished AM parts, compared to conventional processing. In so doing the team also aims to develop cross-sectoral ASTM, ISO and ECSS standards and certification protocols for additive manufacturing.

Project Results:
The following is a list of achieved in Year 3:

WP1 – completed

WP2-The material (metallic powder and wire) required for manufacture of the APOD (industrial demonstrator) parts in the project has been have been successfully procured and tested. The majority of powder samples comply with the material specification developed in WP2 during the earlier stages of the project. Some batches of material have been quarantined due to non-compliance and remedial is underway and the material will be supplied to the partners in Q1 2016. AVIO are also providing additional Ti64 material but there has a delay in producing the powder using the recently install gas atomiser. It is anticipated that the material will be resolved in Q1 2016. This has resulted in a delay to D2.4 and milestone MS5 (see deliverable & milestone report).

WP3-Development of the higher productivity AM processes is now reaching a successful conclusion. The results indicate that the project target of a tenfold increase in build speed can be achieved. Parameters have been developed for the materials required for the APODS. The mechanical property test campaign (coordinated by Bombardier) is reaching a conclusion and in many cases the properties of AM parts exceed the values for current manufacturing processes. Unfortunately some processes are still suffering from an unacceptable level of defects (project target is <5%) but work to resolve this problem, either at source or through post-processing will be completed in Q1 2016. The development of improved process monitoring being undertaken in WP3e will significant help in this regard.

WP4-Several novel approaches to part fixturing have been successfully demonstrated in WP4, including standard fixturing element, part specific clamps produced rapidly using AM techniques and integration of in-process measuring equipment into the finishing operation to enable the process to adapt for part misalignment thus allowing simple, low cost, fixtures to be used. Significant process has been made to develop a laser finishing route for AM parts. In 718 samples have been produced using arbitrary beam incidence and subjected to mechanical testing to understand the acceptable process window. Laser polishing has being applied to segments of the APOD 11 parts.

WP5-In process 3D scanning and melt pool monitoring has been successfully demonstrated by Renishaw. MTC has used latest laser-ultrasonic testing (LUT) NDT methods to detect artificially generated defects in laser powder bed fusion AM samples. This opens up the real potential to conduct effective NDT in-process thus revolutionising the inspection of parts.

WP6-Multi-level process model are now being applied to the APOD demonstrators for “blown powder” laser cladding and wire feed PTA cladding Directed Energy Deposition. To support this work neutron strain scanning analysis has been performed on sections of APOD parts at ILL which provides improved understanding of the development of residual stress in AM processes.

WP7-Significant progress has been made towards finalising the layout of the pilot scale AM factories, including major waste reduction through the use of Gemba Kaizan methods.

WP8 – AMAZE is playing an import role in the development of new standards. Dr Ben Dutton (MTC) is leads the ISO TC261/ ASTM F42 Joint Group 59 on NDT for AM parts and the benchmark parts develop in WP3 are the basis of the test artefacts standard being developed Joint Group 52.

WP9- the AMAZE design/process and materials database is critical for the effective processing of the huge amount of data being generated in the project. Recent enhancements to the database were demonstrated at the AMAZE 2015 Plenary, along with statistics on the use of the database by project partners. The statistics show a consistent use of the database by partners, and a significant amount of data being added, notably for benchmark testing, materials, and APOD parts.

WP10 - Major stride on the development of new AM materials including tungsten, molybdenum and copper based MMCs as well as novel structures.

APODS - The majority of the APOD parts have now been successfully designed and manufactured with selected parts being produced using the pilot factories in WP7.

Dissemination - 15 papers have been produced and 2 patent filed in the period. This is a 50% increase over Yr2 and it expected that dissemination activities will increase dramatically over the remaining 18 months of the project.

Potential Impact:
Regarding significant project advances, which go beyond the state-of-the-art, there are 12 key areas to be mentioned for AMAZE. The following scientific and technical accomplishments are anticipated:
1) major enhancement, speeding-up (x10) and quality improvement of AM technologies, by integrating a wide range of new techniques such as adaptronics, actuator systems, robotic automation, in-situ sensing, novel post-processing, that have not been developed and used before;
2) development and deployment of large-scale AM equipment that can rapidly produce very high-quality metallic demonstrator parts up to 2 metres in size (currently limited to the range 20-60 cm);
3) setting up of four pilot-scale, streamlined, integrated AM factories in Europe, and for the first time in the world. These factories would be capable of producing real Tier-1 components for a variety of OEMs in the following industrial sectors: automotive, aeronautics, space, nuclear fusion and tooling;
4) composition/process/structure/property relations, based on extensive testing of AM samples and standard components, which would permit a useful comparison between the different AM techniques;
5) wider portfolio of certified alloys and the demonstration of new metallic alloys that are specifically tailored to AM processes, and give superior properties compared with cast, forged or machined parts;
6) establishment of the “AMAZE Design/Process/Materials Database” – the most comprehensive database of its kind in the world, and a marketable deliverable in its own right;
7) commercial software package capable of modelling and predicting AM processing, component properties, performance and life-time, as well as tolerance to defects;
8) maximising the benefits of AM to metal components by exploiting the design freedom that it offers, and extensively using free-material and topological optimisation modelling in the design phase. This allows component designs that were not achievable previously;
9) development of a complete future supply chain in Europe for certified AM technologies and feedstock materials, which has not been achieved to date;
10) world-wide PCT patents, design rights and copyrights protecting the most promising AM innovations, in-situ techniques, post-processing steps, alloy compositions, structures and databases;
11) international ISO and ASTM standards for AM materials and processes, co-developed between designers, feedstock suppliers, AM producers and industrial end-users in a multi-sectoral way. This will naturally lead towards industrial certification, which is currently in its infancy;
12) sustainability assessment of new AM processes and components, based on ISO-guided life-cycle analyses, as well as the establishment of new eco-design principles.
13) Widespread dissemination of the results will take place including linkage to Eureopean technology clusters activities.

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