Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) and provider of metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems, announced it has entered into an ambitious research and development (R&D) initiative with Aubert & Duval and Airbus, driven by the Saint Exupéry Institute for Research in Technology (IRT). The Production Engineering laboratory of the National School of Engineering in Tarbes, France will serve as an academic partner for this project, also known as the Metallic Advanced Materials for Aeronautics (MAMA) project.
The goal is to couple traditional metallurgy – high-power closed die forging – with emerging wirefed metal 3D printing techniques – in this case, Sciaky’s Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) process – to develop new processes for manufacturing titanium alloys aircraft parts. In this first phase, the project has a global funding of € 4,2 M (just under $4.8M USD) of which 50% are supported by the French State as part of the “Investing in the Future” program (PIA – Programme Investissement d’Avenir), the other 50% being funded by its industrial partners.
Sciaky’s EBAM systems can produce parts ranging from 8 in. (203 mm) to 19 ft (5.79 meters) in length. EBAM is also the fastest deposition process in the metal additive manufacturing market, with gross deposition rates up to 25 lb (11.34 kg) of metal per hour. EBAM works with IRISS, an Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System, which is a real-time adaptive control system for metal 3D printing market that can sense and digitally self-adjust metal deposition with precision and repeatability. This innovative closed-loop control is the primary reason that Sciaky’s EBAM 3D printing process delivers consistent part geometry, mechanical properties, microstructure, and metal chemistry, from the first part to the last.