Development of a Machine for Multi-Material Manufacturing
EU Commission, H2020 SMEINST-2-2014 programme
RHP Technology GmbH, Austria
In space industry large structures like struts, housings, kinematic mounts, suspension arms for rovers, thruster elements made from different materials are usually manufactured by conventional machining leading to 90% scrap to get the final part. The main goal of the 4M project is the development of an industrial “plug & play” system for additive layer manufacturing which is based on a blown powder process using Plasma Transferred Arc (PTA) Technology. One of the main big hurdles which limits the use of PTA manufactured 3D parts for space and other high demanding markets is related to the fact, that there are actually no commercial “plug &play” manufacturing systems available which ensure 100% process control and repeatability.
The main objectives of the project can be summarized as follows:
- To develop a commercial system for 3D manufacturing of multi-materials which allows the free form manufacturing by using a blown powder process in combination with a Plasma Transferred Arc process
- To develop a Multi Material Manufacturing Machine based on commercial of the shelf (COTS) components which have been successfully used over many years in welding, hard facing coatings and plasma spraying.
- To develop the 3D Manufacturing process for two selected materials (Ti alloy, Al-alloy) and for one multi-material combination (Ti6Al4V + Titan Metal Matrix Composite based on Ti6Al4V reinforced with TiB2 particles.)
- To use the equipment for the manufacturing of selected demonstrators (3 case studies)