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P16-46 Additive Manufacturing for Extra Large Metal Components (AiM2XL)

Metal-based additive manufacturing (AM) involves the construction of three-dimensional components using one or more materials, by means of direct metal deposition. Several processes exist to build components and the choice influences the build rate (measured in mass per unit time), as well as the build quality of the final product. Construct can be made from any weldable metal. To date, research has focused primarily on processing and property related issues aimed at high accuracy, small-scale constructs, using powder-bed technologies, with feature sizes typically of the order 10-4 m. The development of direct metal deposition AM at much larger length scales, associated with significant material anisotropy, has received comparatively little attention, despite the potentially huge impact for engineering applications. Envisaged advantages include: the ability to construct parts where and when needed; the novel capability to design components with radically different properties within one compact monolithic component (for example involving strength, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, mass, electrical properties variations etc.) high speed manufacturing of unique or small series products and the potential to join (metallurgically) incompatible materials through the deposition of graded intermediate layers.

Attention in the present programme is focused on generating the knowledge infrastructure required to competitively build components at length scales of the order 100 to 101 m. Applying direct metal deposition methods to large-scale constructions poses a number of scientific and technological challenges, as well as providing a number of novel opportunities. Within this programme, the following key objectives will be addressed:

a. Provide AM-ready designs by developing advanced design methodologies. The novelty in the proposed approach lies in the inclusion of optimal process flow and local process conditions as an integral component.

b. Exploit deposition strategies including manipulation of part orientation to facilitate local microstructure and property control and to realise complex geometries without the constraints of global layer-wise deposition.

c. Demonstrate novel functional enhancements of (local) properties through the deposition of tailored and graded compositions and microstructures to create materials and components with unique properties, for example to improve fatigue resistance at critical locations.

d. Develop models for the control of residual stress and distortion during and post fabrication based upon tracking detailed changes in the microstructure and mechanical properties associated with multiple thermal cycles imposed during construction.

e. Establish On-line product quality assurance by adaptive closed loop process control using a physically based approach incorporating understanding of the influence of macroscopic and microscopic features on properties.

f. Examine additional local thermal and mechanical treatments during and/or after the build process together with their effects on residual stresses and microstructures, in order to control the properties of components.

g. Investigate material and component properties, with a focus on strength, fatigue, corrosion, failure prediction and requirements for certification, and relate these to deposition parameters to generate guidelines for good practice.

h. Generate demonstrators of relevance to industry, incorporating knowledge from the models and experiments generated within this programme.

Traditionally, part construction is approached from a processing perspective. Here we propose a material centric approach, in which design for properties plays a key role. Such an approach is not unique to large-scale structures, but is crucial at the large scale due to the relatively high heat inputs involved and the influence of macro–scale property gradients inherent in the deposited materials. A materials focus requires a sound understanding of the link between the thermal cycle and mechanical loading history of a component, which in turn determines the microstructure and resultant metallurgical, electrical and mechanical properties. The research is founded on understanding the underlying physical principles rather than simply determining statistical correlations. Such an approach is necessary due to the wide range of material compositions and combinations of interest and relevance to the engineering industry.

The scope of the industrial applications of this program is in principle very broad, cutting across many industrial sectors. One area where the impact is expected to be particularly relevant is the maritime sector, where large components are needed in ship building and maintenance as well as for offshore operations. The possibility to manufacture large, safety critical components on demand, in a short time and at competitive price, is a potential game changer that will strengthen the market position of the users of the technological outcomes of AiM2XL. Additionally, the high level control of geometry and properties is expected to lead to an extended range of high-performance solutions.

The interest for maritime applications is reflected by the intention expressed by the Port of Rotterdam and their partnering companies in the joint initiative RAMLAB ( to support this programme. Other industrial sectors where companies have also expressed interest include aerospace, civil construction, rail and automotive. The programme is underpinned by academic input from the universities of Delft, Eindhoven, Groningen en Twente, where relevant experience in the field of additive manufacturing has already been developed.

Prof.dr. Ian Richardson, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology Fred van Keulen, Dept. Precision and Microsystems Engineering, Delft University of Technology Ton van den Boogaard, Dept. Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces & Systems, University of Twente Prof.dr. Yutao Pei, Department of Advanced Production Engineering, University of Groningen Marc Geers, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology Marcel Hermans, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology
Topsector 1 
HTSM (inclusief ICT, Nanotechnologie en Medische Technologie)
Topsector 2 (indien van toepassing) 
Roadmap/ Innovatieagenda (indien van toepassing) 
Roadmap High Tech Materials Roadmap Water
Openbare bijeenkomst (optioneel) 
17 november 2016 - 2:30pm
RAMLAB, Rotterdam
Scheepsbouwweg 8, 3089 JW Rotterdam.
Prof. dr. Ian Richardson
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft