• Advanced manufacturing

     

    The Advanced Manufacturing Department is aimed to the study and optimization of the PBF (Power Bed Fusion) additive productive technology, i.e. the selective fusion of subsequent layers of metal powder which must still be deeply studied such as copper and its alloys, which would be really innovative in critical applications.

    In the PBF area there are also: the SLM (Selective Laser Melting) technology which use one or more lasers as a melting source; the SEBM (Selective Electron Beam Melting) which use a focused electron beam. The layer-by-layer approach allows to face the production of components through such complex geometries that couldn’t be worked through the traditional productive technologies.

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    The AMD considers all the steps of the productive process that may be resumed in the following way:

    • Optimization of hardware system in cooperation with external production companies which turn to the EAF to study and improve their SLM systems already placed on the market. Moreover, the EAF has developed, together with other partners, a new electron beam printer. (Patent Pending).
    • Development of the fusion process. Starting from the study of powders, all the parameters which characterize the process. Then the density, roughness, electrical and thermal conductibility, mechanical strength, surface quality are analysed through light microscopy, SEM and geometrical tolerances.
    • Re-design of components made for traditional manufacturing. Components which respect geometrical dictates for SLM are created through specific software, or other projects made for different kind of manufacturing are geometrically and topologically optimized.
    • Development of ad hoc post processing. In this activity the post production treatments are optimized. They mainly work with surface finish through mechanical or electrochemical processes, heat treatments for distention and/or aging and HIPping

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    We also operate with Tantalum. Tantalum offers many unique benefits for aerospace, industrial,medical and nuclear applications which include heat resistance to above 2500 °C, corrosion resistance, good hardness and capability to shield. It also has been
    reported to have osseointegration, biocompatibility and antibacterial properties.
    To date, FEA is involved in the European Space Agency project No. 4000125460/18/UK/ND “Hollow Cathode for Electric Propulsion using Advanced Manufacturing Techniques”. In this project, FEA has the task of producing AM components for satellite thrusters.

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