Sciaky Joins R&D Initiative to Combine Traditional Metallurgy with Wirefed Metal 3D Printing Techniques

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Metal 3D printing solutions provider Sciaky, Inc., well known for its extremely popular Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) process, just announced that it has entered into a research and development initiative with metallurgist expert Aubert & Duval – a subsidiary of the Eramet group’s Alloys division – and Airbus, one of its previous 3D printing partners. The ambitious initiative, also called the Metallic Advanced Materials for Aeronautics (MAMA) project, is being driven by the Saint Exupéry Institute for Research in Technology (IRT), and the academic partner for the project is the Production Engineering laboratory of the National School of Engineering in Tarbes, France.

“Sciaky is proud to work with the Saint Exupéry IRT, Aubert & Duval and Airbus on this exciting project. Industrial metal additive manufacturing technology continues to break new ground every day, and Sciaky is committed to keeping EBAM at the forefront of this movement,” said Scott Phillips, the President and CEO of Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Inc. (PSI).

In terms of work envelope, Sciaky’s exclusive EBAM technology is probably the most widely scalable metal AM solution in the industry. It’s the only industrial metal 3D printing process that has approved applications for air, land, sea, and space, with gross deposition rates up to 11.34 kg of metal an hour, and is able to manufacture parts from 203 mm to 5.79 meters in length. Rather than just melting the outer layer of the metal powder, the EBAM process completely liquefies the metal wire feed.

The fast, cost-effective EBAM process offers a wide range of material options, including titanium, for large-scale metal applications, and uses its adaptive IRISS (Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System) to combine quality and control, as the patented system can sense, and digitally self-adjust, metal deposition with repeatability and precision. It is mainly due to the IRISS system that the Chicago-based company’s EBAM 3D printing process is so good at delivering, as the company puts it, “consistent part geometry, mechanical properties, microstructure, and metal chemistry, from the first part to the last.”

The goal of its combined MAMA project with Airbus and Aubert & Duval is to combine traditional metallurgy (high-power closed die forging) with new wirefed metal 3D printing techniques, such as Sciaky’s EBAM process, in order to come up with new processes for manufacturing titanium alloys that can be used to make aircraft parts. Based on the caliber of its partners, Sciaky made a good decision in joining the R&D initiative – Airbus is a 3D printing pioneer in the aerospace industry, and Aubert & Duval creates and develops advanced metallurgical solutions for projects in demanding industries, such as nuclear, medical, energy, defense, and aeronautics.

The project’s first phase has global funding in the amount of €4.2 million. 50% of this funding is supported by the French State as part of its “Investing in the Future” program (Programme Investissement d’Avenir, or PIA), while the other half is funded by industrial partners of the initiative.

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[Images provided by Sciaky, Inc.]

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