Started in December 2018, the Clip Fam project (Characterization of powder bed for additive metal manufacturing) begins its second step in correlated metal powders with the properties of the finished product. With the ultimate goal of supporting the emergence of a specific standard on powder.
The Clip Fam project, funded by the Normandy region and the European Union, is based on a Norman consortium: Analysis - Surface, ArianeGroup, Cevaa, Crismat, GPM, Insa Rouen Normandie, LMN, Nae (network of aeronautics, space, defence and security players in Normandy) and Volum-e. It should allow a better understanding of the role played by the characteristics of the powder bed on the general properties of metal parts made in additive manufacturing.
Normandy has strong skills around additive manufacturing (FA) with a positioning of players in several segments of the value chain: product design, material development, implementation and product control.
The Clip Fam project has four deliverables:
- Lot 1: Develop a method of characterizing the etalability of metal powders for additive manufacturing (test bench);
- Lot 2: Strengthen the modelling of the etalability in order to anticipate optimal production;
- Lot 3: Assess the impact of a powder with good/poor stallability on the part produced;
- Lot 4: Support the emergence of a specific standard on powder (sealing).
Analysis - Surface is in charge of the management of Lot 1 on the characterization of the sealability of the powders. This lot is conducted in partnership with Cevaa, LMN and ArianeGroup. It also aims to model the etalability of powders and improve understanding of the phenomenon based on key parameters.
The characterization of the metal powders selected in the project is complete and the test bed is operational: it represents and simulates the powder feeding area of the SLM (Selective LaserMelting) machine trays. The tray that will be used for measurements will be powered by a "scratcher" that will push the powder from the feeding tray to the tray. Cameras will be used to monitor the smalability of the powders studied, and thus their quality. The measurements made by this test will be correlated with the results obtained on the powders in order to verify their consistency and, ultimately, to simplify the characterization of the powders.
This simplified measurement method will allow the discrimination of powders that can be used by machines and those that would be too degraded or aged (e.g. due to reuse in the powder bed that is too large).
The GPM is in charge of the management of Lot 2, which aims to characterise and compare several parts from different additive manufacturing processes, a batch carried out in partnership with all the players including the Crismat, Volum-e and ArianeGroup who provide the test tubes.
Activities will continue in Lot 3, piloted by ArianeGroup, which is intended to establish the correlation between the characterizations made on the powders in Lot 1 and the finished product characterizations of Lot 2.
Focus on Lot 4 - Complementary to the DGE Standardization Mission
Missioned by the General Directorate of Enterprises (DGE) to promote and inform national companies of the evolution of standardization on additive manufacturing, NAE emphasizes this action within the framework of Clip Fam: standardization on additive metal powder manufacturing is an integral part of the work of Lot 4 worn by Eric Baustert (Volum-e) and Sébastien Boileau (6Napse) and joined by Pierre Bernard (Ariane.
Currently, 66 standards are being written or written on additive manufacturing. Among these, EN ISO-ASTM 52913, currently being drafted, aims to define the methodologies for characterizing the flow of powders used for additive manufacturing. This standard is intended for the manufacturer of testing equipment, suppliers of materials as well as users of additive powder manufacturing machines and will allow each of these players to ensure the same language and understanding of the properties expected for powders.
NAE supports the overall coordination of the Clip Fam project, which is expected to be completed by the end of June 2022.
On the other hand; NAE will participate in the upcoming APS Meeting business convention dedicated to additive manufacturing and 3D printing, to be held on June 29 and 30, and will host two sessions on the theme:
- Fam Clip: First Results of Characterization Work
- Additive manufacturing in Normandy - Structuring
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 Selective laser sintering uses a very powerful laser to transform a powder into a solid object by fusion or sintering. The laser sweeps the surface, causing the material to agglomeration or melt.
 The DGE wished, through Normandy AeroEspace, to promote the standardization of additive manufacturing by allowing small and medium-sized enterprises to be actors and informed of the issues and directions of this technology - NAE release of 29/05/2018