An industrialization team from China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology, led by Professor Zhang Haiou, is using a relatively new technology with 3D printing to produce heavy, industrial parts like large pump propeller blades. After a request for a substantial order of large jet blades for a shipbuilding unit, the University team began using micro-casting and forging in metal 3D printing for the manufacturing of large parts.
Necessary in ship navigation, pump jet propellers can be made significantly faster with micro-casting and forging, a technological evolution from material manufacturing to subtractive manufacturing to additive manufacturing. Mechanical properties are improved, along with accuracy—elevated from 0.5mm to 0.1mm, with little to no defects like pores or cracks. Haiou explained that without forging, metal fatigue resistance may be inferior, performance of parts may not be sufficient, and defects can occur due to lack of fusion, stability, and porosity.
Attempting to improve metal 3D printing for large parts with complex geometries, Haiou and his team moved forward to disrupt industrial production with their novel micro-casting and forging technique. News of Haiou’s system, dubbed the “Micro Forging & Casting Sync Composite Device”, first emerged in 2016, when it was revealed that the technology was being used to create titanium joints for China’s jet fighters. The process consists of:
- Metal deposition, using metal wire
- Continuous cold forging and rolling
- Cooling down
“The micro-casting and forging technology can carry out the above steps simultaneously,” explained Zhang Haiou. “When the printing is completed, the casting and forging are completed at the same time, and the deposition efficiency is three times that of the former.
“We reduced the action that originally required 80,000 tons of force to 1/80,000, that is, less than one ton of force, and at the same time, one equipment completed the work that many large equipment used to complete. The power of the equipment is only 50 kilowatts, and the energy consumption per unit time is two-thousandths of that of a giant press. It is green and efficient.”
In 2016, the system made parts up to 5.5 × 4.2 × 1.5 m in size, with a surface roughness of 0.02 mm, and could use eight types of materials, including titanium and steel. The goal with the technology is to magnify the advantages of 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes, especially for industrial applications in building aircraft, engines, turbines, parts for railways, and nuclear power plants.
“Taking aircraft manufacturing as an example, the number of body structure parts of a large passenger aircraft is currently tens of thousands. If 3D printing technology can be used to produce large, complex, integral, high-performance, and lightweight components in the future, then number of body structure parts for a large passenger aircraft may only be hundreds.
“Not only that, in the future, using metal 3D printing technology and simulation technology will reduce the development and production cycle of the aircraft by an order of magnitude,” said Zhang Haiou.
This is not the only process to combine 3D printing and forging. Arconic developed a technique called Ampliforge that combines directed energy deposition with forging for the same reasons, but it lacks the built-in milling capabilities.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: NetEase News]
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and recieve information and offers from thrid party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Friday 12th of August
Today we will be talking about a model of a cranium, Prellis Biologics new raise, 3D printing actuators for a hand that moves like a human one as well as...
Metal 3D Printing Firm Velo3D Announces Impressive Q2 Earning
US financial markets appear to be in a state of limbo. For one thing, there are few clear opinions circulating concerning the question as to whether the American economy is,...
3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Thursday 11th of August
Today we’re going to discuss 3D printed sunglasses from Givenchy, 3D printing drone swarms, more sustainable 3D printing materials for buildings by ORNL, 3D printing earnings season and more.
Stratasys Goes on the Record on Buying Covestro 3D Printing Materials Unit
In light of the recent acquisition of Covestro’s additive manufacturing (AM) business by Stratasys, we interviewed executive vice president of Product Strategy and Corporate Development at Stratasys Omer Krieger and...