Already with about 20 qualified metal alloys, MMB Volum-e has
to take advantage of the period of upheaval caused by the Covid-19 crisis to accelerate its fundamental research and the development of its material catalogue. In 2021, the company will strengthen its centre of excellence to support the innovation actions of its customers and offer a wider and more comprehensive service offering.
In contrast to the economic downturn caused by the health crisis, the Research and Innovation business at MMB Volum-e accelerated sharply in 2020. The company intends to maintain its avant-garde in additive manufacturing by contributing to the qualification and characterization of new high-tech materials and processes that have seen their level of technological maturity (TRL) rise.
Efforts have included accelerating the processing of mechanical and microstructural analysis data through its internal laboratory and its strengthened partnership with materials developers Aubert-Duval and process experts EOS and Surface Analysis (group 6napse). In 2020, the metal materials proposed in the MMB Volum-e catalogue have increased by 40% and the company is able to respond to new developments: new material parametry, thermal and mechanical simulations of parts designated for selective laser fusion (L-PBF-M).
At the same time, ongoing collaborative projects have also made significant progress, implementing several MMB Volum-e skills. The subjects are diverse: some are interested in the productive reinforcement of laser machines, others in the understanding of the modeling of the behavior of powders or the residual constraints of FA processes, and finally in innovative surface treatments.
As for the latter, the After ALM project is led by the IRT-M2P. Volum-e aims to evaluate the most advanced and adapted surface treatments for FA parts such as chemical, plasma, mechanical, laser and electrochemical treatments. The goal is to improve surface roughness, remove detachable particles from the surface and increase the functional properties of the parts.
At this stage, the 28 industrial and academic partners are in the process of launching a fatigue characterization campaign to measure the impact of these surface treatments on long-term mechanical behaviours and to qualify the production/finishing ranges.
In addition, the thesis being conducted with the University of Rouen (Physical Materials Grouping - GPM) dealing with the microstructures properties of aluminum alloys derived from FA and aiming at a better understanding for their implementation in machines, led to its first scientific publication in September 2020.
In addition, historically positioned on additive plastic manufacturing, MMB Volum-e has carried out an update of its fleet machines with the integration of the latest generation of 3D printer Figura 4 that allows it the implementation of the latest innovative materials. Among these, the company intends to develop the use and characterization of the latest generation of advanced photoreticulable materials (stereolithography), with high mechanical and thermal performance, flexible materials and elastomer (Tough-Blk 20, Pro-Blk 10, Rubber 65A-Shore, etc.).
Strengthening a centre of excellence for external service deployment
Research and innovation efforts have helped to structure a centre of excellence within MMB Volum-e to support clients in their development efforts. Positioning itself as a true prime contractor on the entire value chain, it aims to deliver external services, from the design to the realization of the finished product:
- Design: Oar the creativity of its designers, MMB Volum-e is able to imagine, design and design the product that meets the original specifications.
- Co-design and engineering: the company supports its customers in all phases of engineering. Its design office determines the best technical solutions adapted to technological constraints and specificities. The team has additive and subtractive development methods and is in the position of proposal to optimize the design and co-design according to the chosen production methods.
- Training and Qualification: Experts also offer training in additive manufacturing to carry out technology transfers. Finally, VOLUM-e accompanies materials and processes, in particular to help its customers to increase their skills on additive laser manufacturing on a bed of metal powder (small and medium series production means, improved productivity, parametric materials ...).
"Nanoscale periodic gradients generated by additive manufacturing of an AlSi10Mg alloy"as part of the thesis "Microstructure relationship - process- mechanical properties of aluminum alloys developed by additive manufacturing"
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