Additive manufacturing

A key aspect in aircraft manufacturing is the material. On one hand, it is important the high cost of used materials, capable of withstand high mechanical loads at very high temperatures. On the other hand there is the continuous need to reduce as much as possible the weight of the components. To achieve this, additive manufacturing is a technology that allows design optimization, considerably reducing the component weight and increasing rigidity without introducing intermediate joints in complicated designs. Furthermore, the fact of manufacturing by adding material, instead of machining, considerably reduces the cost of the necessary material to build the component. These are very interesting aspects to consider in any industry, more important in the aircraft industry.

The CFAA is capable of working with both the most common additive manufacturing technologies and it also has all necessary safety precautions to work safely with metal powders. These technologies are:

  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM) or additive manufacturing using pre-deposited powder layer by layer in a protective atmosphere. For this task a Renishaw AM400 machine is present in the centre.
  • Laser Material Deposition (LMD) or deposition of material using a nozzle to deposit the metal powder. It consists on a robotic cell with coaxial laser welding nozzle to provide the material.