Advanced Manufacturing

The Department of Advanced Manufacturing deals with studying and optimizing the use of the PBF (power bed fusion) additive production technology. This consists of the selective fusion of successive layers of those metal powders not accurately studied yet, such as copper and its alloys, very innovative in many critical applications. The Department has a pivotal role in the Foundation’s positioning project as a Center for Competence and Benchmarking for Advanced Additive Manufacturing.

The PBF includes both the SLM (Selective Laser Melting) which uses one or more lasers as a melting source, and the SEBM (Selective Electron Beam Melting) which employs a collimated electron beam.

The layer by layer approach allows you to deal with the production of components with such complex geometries not processable otherwise or with traditional production technologies.

How does the department work?

The Department operates in all phases of the production process, which can be grouped in the following way

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Optimization of the hardware system (in collaboration with external manufacturers who turn to FEA to study and improve their SLM systems, already on the market). FEA has also developed, with other partners, a new electron beam printer (patent pending)

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Development of the melting process. Starting from the study of the powders, the parameters that characterize the process are optimized. The components are then analyzed for density, roughness, electrical and thermal conductivity, mechanical resistance and surface quality through optical or SEM microscopy and geometric tolerances

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Dedicated design and re-design of components projected for traditional processes. Through the use of specific software, components are conceived according to the geometric dictates imposed by the SLM process, or designs already conceived for other production techniques are geometrically and topologically optimized

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Development of ad hoc post-processing. In this activity, the post-production treatments that an additive component usually needs are optimized and mainly refer to surface treatments performed by means of mechanical, electrochemical, thermal and HIP processes