Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for the Aerospace and Defense sector, but is not without its challenges.
The sheer variety of AM technologies available on the market today can make it difficult to assess which one, if any, is the best fit for a particular application. Lucideon has experts across all types of commercially available AM technologies including Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM), Directed Energy Deposition (DED) and Binder Jet. Whether it's material selection and development, processing and post-processing, specialized qualification or forensic failure analysis, we have the ability to step in and provide engineering support backed by a fully integrated suite of specialized testing and analysis capabilities.
AM offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for the aerospace sector, but is not without its challenges. At Lucideon we can help you navigate the obstacles of developing, optimizing and qualifying your AM processes. Our team of senior and principal level metallurgists can provide guidance on technology selection, recycling strategies, process and post-process optimization and supply chain support – to ensure that your AM parts are fit for purpose.
As the applications for AM continue to expand, so do the requirements for the materials being used. We have the expertise and capabilities to support development, characterization and testing of new allows being designed specifically for AM. Our knowledge of the AM process, combined with a deep understanding of material science, enables us to provide value added support to accelerate program timelines.
Lucideon offers thermal and mechanical testing capabilities to support the specific needs of the AM industry. These capabilities include customized mechanical testing from cryogenic (-320°F) to elevated temperatures (2,500°F), and high strain testing and thermomechanical fatigue (TMF) testing. Thermal testing includes thermal conductivity, specific heat and coefficient of thermal expansion.
Understanding and verifying the integrity of each machine and build is a key driver in the successful adoption of AM. Lucideon can provide support throughout the development, execution and troubleshooting phases of these qualifications – covering powder characterization and recycling, part qualification, and root cause failure analysis. Implementing a robust qualification plan designed by our team, can accelerate your AM activities.
Cracking, distortion and discoloration are only a few of the common failure modes with additively manufactured materials. Each of these failures depend upon the materials, technologies and post-processing utilized in the manufacturing process. Lucideon has the process and materials expertise to perform root cause failure analysis in order to identify not only the cause, but the preventative measures to reduce the risk of future failure. Our experts have extensive experience across AM technologies, including DMLM, EBM, EBAM, DED & BinderJet.
AM offers nearly unlimited design potential, however, this benefit cannot be fully realized if costly and limiting, and secondary post-processing is required. Lucideon can support the characterization and optimization of surface finishes for additively manufactured materials in order to allow full utilization of the technology.
The potential of AM to produce complex and intricate structures creates unique challenges around how to ensure the removal of all foreign and loose particulate material. Lucideon has developed customized procedures in order to quantitatively assess the degree of these key metrics in AM components.
Conventional heat treatment methods and cycles were developed and optimized for alloys and technologies available prior to AM. The rapid heating and cooling rates seen in many AM processes create unique structures, which may not be compatible with established methods. Lucideon can provide guidance on the selection and optimization of heat treatments for additively manufactured materials in order to ensure peak performance for specific applications.
Although powder bed AM is a relatively new technology, the fundamentals of metal powder characterization and processing date back to the metal injection molding (MIM) industry. Our team of metallurgists has decades of experience characterizing and troubleshooting metal powders, including flowability, chemistry, particle size, microstructure and porosity. Lucideon’s metallurgists can characterize and optimize materials to ensure consistency in your AM process.
The use and reuse, of metal powders in laser and electron beam AM processes have brought forward unique challenges as to how the integrity of powder can be verified as it moves through the AM lifecycle. Lucideon has provided support for leading companies on how to develop, evaluate and implement recycling strategies in order to ensure consistent input quality during their AM processes.