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Industrial 3D printing of high-tech aerospace components

The cost-effective, tool-less production of lightweight components reduces fuel consumption, material costs and CO2 emissions

Engine and turbine parts as well as cabin interior components are typical applications for industrial 3D printing / Additive Manufacturing (AM. This is where the benefits of innovative EOS technology come to the fore: functional components with complex geometries and defined aerodynamic properties can be manufactured quickly and cost-effectively. Material and weight savings lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Manufacturer-specific adaptations and small production runs are further arguments in favour of Additive Manufacturing technology. This is why leading aerospace companies have integrated AM into their planning of future production strategies.

Cost reduction:

Since part production using Additive Manufacturing does not cause set-up and tooling costs, production costs are only incurred for the parts themselves, at the time they are manufactured. Even small production runs and one-off pieces do not cause added cost. In addition, system parts designed for optimum function can often be realized as a single part, simplifying assembly and quality assurance.

Lightweight design:

Intelligent lightweight structures manufactured using laser sintering processes combine high strength with a weight reduction of 40–60%. The material savings translate into more flexibility in design and engineering. As a result, airplanes consume significantly less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide.

Toolless production: EOS industrial 3D printing technology enables maximum flexibility in production planning. In addition, toolless production processes require less energy and raw material than conventional manufacturing operations. Modified parts, upgrades and spare parts can be produced as needed, obviating the need for storage. Given the long service lives of airplanes, Additive Manufacturing processes yield clear cost benefits.

Customer Statement:

Sharon Tuvia

Ronen Sharon, Chief Executive Officer at Sharon Tuvia talks about how Sharon Tuvia  uses additive manufacturing, it’s benefits and why they have chosen EOS as partner.

EOS Additive manufacturing technology – Aerospace best-practice examples

Aerospace: Optical Tomography Enables Considerable Savings in Quality Assurance

End-To-End Monitoring During Series Production

Components produced for the aerospace industry must satisfy strict quality assurance criteria. Especially in series production environments, there are high standards for component quality and hence process stability and reproducibility. End-to-end quality assurance is therefore crucial throughout the entire production chain.

Just a few years ago, there were no well-established testing procedures for additive manufacturing, which is why non-destructive and downstream processes such as dye penetrant testing, X-rays, and computer tomography (CT) were used for metal components. Although these conventional testing methods are an effective way to certify components in some cases, they are highly expensive and often insufficient. Quality assurance can cost many times more than production.

Challenge

New additive manufacturing processes face major challenges in the engine construction sector due to the extremely stringent requirements of safety certifications. Any component destined to fly must be continuously monitored, from raw material to final product, in order to ensure that it is completely free from faults. This means that quality assurance for industrial 3D printing – testing technology, process control, and documentation – needs new methods and economic ideas. MTU Aero Engines began to develop optical tomography (OT) in 2013 with the objective of finding a specific testing procedure that could provide 100 % monitoring and documentation for additive manufacturing processes. After successful initial research and implementation phases, this technology was further developed into the series solution EOSTATE ExposureOT in partnership with EOS GmbH. The system monitors the entire manufacturing environment with an sCMOS industrial camera and measures the heat emissions of the melting process in high resolution. The configurable software offers detailed insights into the quality of the components in each layer. Optical tomography therefore allows reproducibility to be monitored, increases comparability between components, manufacturing projects, and printing systems, and provides a way of integrating cost-effective quality assurance into series manufacturing applications. MTU Aero Engines now aims to establish EOSTATE ExposureOT as a testing procedure for additively manufactured components and thereby significantly reduce the costs associated with quality assurance

Additive serial manufacturing of borescope bosses for geared turbofan engines of Airbus A320neo. (Source: MTU Aero Engines)

Solution

MTU Aero Engines has been using EOSTATE ExposureOT for several years in additive serial manufacturing, namely for the process development and quality assurance of borescope bosses for the latest generation of Airbus A320neo geared turbofan engines. This has allowed the company to acquire comprehensive experience of this quality assurance process and perform comparisons with alternative non-destructive technologies. Initially, serial components were inspected with conventional radiographic tests and CT scans in parallel to optical tomography, and the results were systematically compared. The decisive question: can EOSTATE ExposureOT detect every possible type of defect, including cavities, pores, solid inclusions, or incomplete fusion, just as reliably as the conventional test methods? Could EOSTATE ExposureOT even achieve a greater probability of detection (POD)? Comparisons with destructive test methods such as microscope inspections of cross-sections and samples were also systematically performed. The reliability revealed by the findings gradually built up confidence in the new technology and led to a paradigm shift in quality assurance at MTU. Layer-by-layer live monitoring of the manufacturing process with EOSTATE ExposureOT is now the procedure of choice for testing additively manufactured components.

Results

A decisive milestone for series production at MTU Aero Engines with EOSTATE ExposureOT was reached when it was established that this technology reliably detects all potential defects. Comparisons of EOSTATE ExposureOT and conventional radiographic tests, CT, and destructive testing methods found that the POD of EOSTATE ExposureOT was higher than the other non-destructive methods, especially for incomplete fusion. Concretely, this means that any error detected by RT or CT scans is also clearly visible as an indication in EOSTATE ExposureOT. “EOSTATE ExposureOT reliably tells us when a part might have flaws. It hasn’t missed a single one yet. This allowed us to completely remove X-ray and CT inspections in the series production of borescope bosses. Economically speaking, the benefit is huge,” says Dr. Karl-Heinz Dusel, Head of Additive Manufacturing Technology. In the future, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer plans to upgrade EOSTATE ExposureOT from a simple process monitoring technique to an official test method. Statistical process control can also greatly simplify the evaluation of results. With just a few qualitatively defect-free manufacturing jobs, a reliable curve of tolerable deviations can be defined, and any parallel sampling process can be replaced. Further tests are only needed when deviations are observed.

“EOSTATE ExposureOT reliably tells us when a part might have flaws. This allowed us to completely remove X-ray and CT inspections in the series production of borescope bosses. Economically speaking, the benefit is huge.”

Dr. Karl-Heinz Dusel, Head of Additive Manufacturing Technology, MTU Aero Engines

Short profile

MTU Aero Engines is Germany’s leading engine manufacturer and a well-established player worldwide. The company develops, manufactures, sells, and maintains both civil and military aircraft engines in every thrust and power class, as well as stationary industrial gas turbines. MTU has subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide in key regions and markets. One of the breakthroughs achieved by MTU was in the engine construction sector as one of the first ever companies to manufacture serial components by DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering).

Aerospace: RUAG – Additive Manufacturing of Satellite Components

Antenna bracket for RUAG’s Sentinel satellite – certified for deployment in outer space

For many people, talking of the infinite vastness of the universe conjures up stories of science fiction, usually told by a Hollywood film studio. However, in real life, more than in any other area, it is arguably in space travel that a strong will and clear vision are vital for creating the necessary technology and readying it for deployment in the cosmos. This was the challenge faced by Swiss technology group RUAG in the construction of its Sentinel satellite, designed for observing our planet from on high. Even here, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, additive manufacturing is playing a key role.

EOS
Bauteile
01.03.2016
Krailling
Foto: Tobias Hase (www.hase-fotografie.de)

Challenge

According to reports by the German Center for Aerospace (DLR) from 2016, the mission costs of space exploration per kilogram of transported payload are upwards of € 20,000. Every single gram saved reduces total launch costs, as the system requires less fuel for the ascent. As a result, aerospace engineers need to shave every possible gram from every component – as excess weigth accumulates rapidly. In this case, the Swiss RUAG group were in need of an optimally designed antenna bracket.

 

Yet weight optimization alone is not enough. During a rocket launch, the payload gets well and truly shaken up and the level of vibration is considerable. Also, the enormous speeds of several thousand kilometers per hour, not to mention the high G-forces, mean that the flight will not be as smooth as you would expect on a passenger jet. Stability and rigidity form a second essential on any specification sheet. Unfortunately this requirement is usually diametrically opposed to the need for lightweight design.

Engineers employ complex structures to identify a workable level compromise between form and weight. The RUAG team sought the optimum combination of strength and weight for the structure of its antenna bracket, as conventional manufacturing methods had been exhausted. Thankfully, additive manufacturing provided the perfect possibility of achieving the necessary freedom of design. Component testing represented a particular challenge, not least because of the aforementioned vibration. In outer space, reliability counts, as repairs generally not possible. This also explains why the authorization of such components is such a protracted and complex process. Every certification represents an accolade for the engineers who have achieved it.

Solution

In such cases, the complete production chain plays an important role, particularly in the aerospace sector. “Obviously, the immense advantages of producing components using additive manufacturing was of great interest to us,” explained Franck Mouriaux, General Manager of Structures at RUAG. “For example, design freedom and complex components help us to save weight. The ability to integrate functions is also very helpful. In the end, however, it is a case of identifying these potential advantages, implementing them in an ideal fashion and acquiring the necessary the corresponding authorization. The simplest component serves no purpose if it cannot be used.”

Fundamental suitability and rigidity testing formed the starting point of the antenna bracket’s design. The next step comprised the selection of material, definition of processes and initial basic tests in respect of the material characteristics. The initial test structures then constructed, to serve as the starting point for the topological optimization of the component. RUAG was eventually able to achieve the – theoretically – perfect form for the antenna bracket, through a combination of intensive work with a CAD and FEM system from Altair and guidance from EOS on design and construction using additive manufacturing.

The approximately 40 cm long antenna bracket was produced by citim GmbH from Barleben in Germany using of the EOS M 400. With a construction volume of 400 x 400 x 400 mm, it was possible to produce two antennas, 30 tensile test pieces and various test items in a single construction order. The construction time was approximately 80 hours. The parameter set used was for a layer thickness of 60 µm, optimized for surface quality and productivity.

The aluminium alloy used, EOS Aluminium AlSi10Mg, is characterized by high strength and strong resistance to dynamic stress, making the material perfectly suited for use with high-stress components. Comprehensive tests were carried out to demonstrate the required characteristics – in the aerospace sector, these comprise up to 80% of the total scope of a project. Specially manufactured structures were used for testing. Among other things, engineers examined the brackets in computer tomographs. Various mechanical and physical procedures were also performed. At times, the stresses brought to bear on the component deliberately exceeded the load limits, ultimately leading to the destruction of the test pieces.

Results

The result of these efforts was that the new antenna bracket for the Sentinel satellites exceeded all expectations. The component was awarded certification and with that, the approval for its utilization in outer space. The achievement is all the more remarkable considering that the use of additive manufacturing in space is still in its infancy.

For example, the component’s minimum rigidity requirements wer exceeded by more than 30% – a margin that is easily sufficient to ensure that, even after a turbulent flight, an ideal antenna position could be attained – and radio communication with Earth guaranteed. The required level of stability was achieved, in part because of the highly uniform stress distribution. Moreover, the use of additive manufacturing led to a significant reduction in the weight of the final component: down to 940 g from 1.6 kg, representing a saving of over 40%. In this instance, the use of innovative technology succeeded in achieving an unlikely combination: improved component characteristics and lower system costs.

“We are very happy with the results of this project. We entered unchartered territory on the process side and were rewarded with a stable, lightweight component,” says Aerospace Engineer Mouriaux. “Additive manufacturing has shown that it can fulfill the fundamental procedural demands of space travel. The multiple design advantages and the characteristics of the component itself have certainly proven this. I see great potential for this technology going forward.” So, while Hollywood tells exciting stories, innovative technology continues to live them everyday, extending the frontiers of design and construction.

 

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The technological symbiosis of topology optimization and additive manufacturing results in a halving in weight, reduced stress, increased stiffness and a minimum of design lead time. (source: RUAG, Altair, EOS GmbH)

“To some extent it squares the circle: we have been able to make a component significantly lighter and yet simultaneously more robust. The component characteristics have proven their worth in tests carried out with the requisite stringency for the aerospace sector. We will be hearing a lot more about additive manufacturing in the coming years – I’m convinced of that!”

Franck Mouriaux, General Manager Structures at RUAG

 

“EOS combines innovation with great experience in additive manufacturing. The systems offer really interesting possibilities for all markets across every sector.”

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Berkau, CEO at citim GmbH

Case_Study_RUAG_EN_V4.indd

Short Profile

RUAG is a Swiss technology group with global operations, active in the fields of aerospace, defense and security. Its customers are drawn from both civilian companies and government agencies.

As a manufacturing service provider, citim GmbH serves the entire production chain, providing rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing and small-series production, from initial construction through to component finishing.

Aerospace: Optical Tomography Enables Considerable Savings in Quality Assurance

End-To-End Monitoring During Series Production

Components produced for the aerospace industry must satisfy strict quality assurance criteria. Especially in series production environments, there are high standards for component quality and hence process stability and reproducibility. End-to-end quality assurance is therefore crucial throughout the entire production chain.

Just a few years ago, there were no well-established testing procedures for additive manufacturing, which is why non-destructive and downstream processes such as dye penetrant testing, X-rays, and computer tomography (CT) were used for metal components. Although these conventional testing methods are an effective way to certify components in some cases, they are highly expensive and often insufficient. Quality assurance can cost many times more than production.

Challenge

New additive manufacturing processes face major challenges in the engine construction sector due to the extremely stringent requirements of safety certifications. Any component destined to fly must be continuously monitored, from raw material to final product, in order to ensure that it is completely free from faults. This means that quality assurance for industrial 3D printing – testing technology, process control, and documentation – needs new methods and economic ideas. MTU Aero Engines began to develop optical tomography (OT) in 2013 with the objective of finding a specific testing procedure that could provide 100 % monitoring and documentation for additive manufacturing processes. After successful initial research and implementation phases, this technology was further developed into the series solution EOSTATE ExposureOT in partnership with EOS GmbH. The system monitors the entire manufacturing environment with an sCMOS industrial camera and measures the heat emissions of the melting process in high resolution. The configurable software offers detailed insights into the quality of the components in each layer. Optical tomography therefore allows reproducibility to be monitored, increases comparability between components, manufacturing projects, and printing systems, and provides a way of integrating cost-effective quality assurance into series manufacturing applications. MTU Aero Engines now aims to establish EOSTATE ExposureOT as a testing procedure for additively manufactured components and thereby significantly reduce the costs associated with quality assurance

Additive serial manufacturing of borescope bosses for geared turbofan engines of Airbus A320neo. (Source: MTU Aero Engines)

Solution

MTU Aero Engines has been using EOSTATE ExposureOT for several years in additive serial manufacturing, namely for the process development and quality assurance of borescope bosses for the latest generation of Airbus A320neo geared turbofan engines. This has allowed the company to acquire comprehensive experience of this quality assurance process and perform comparisons with alternative non-destructive technologies. Initially, serial components were inspected with conventional radiographic tests and CT scans in parallel to optical tomography, and the results were systematically compared. The decisive question: can EOSTATE ExposureOT detect every possible type of defect, including cavities, pores, solid inclusions, or incomplete fusion, just as reliably as the conventional test methods? Could EOSTATE ExposureOT even achieve a greater probability of detection (POD)? Comparisons with destructive test methods such as microscope inspections of cross-sections and samples were also systematically performed. The reliability revealed by the findings gradually built up confidence in the new technology and led to a paradigm shift in quality assurance at MTU. Layer-by-layer live monitoring of the manufacturing process with EOSTATE ExposureOT is now the procedure of choice for testing additively manufactured components.

Results

A decisive milestone for series production at MTU Aero Engines with EOSTATE ExposureOT was reached when it was established that this technology reliably detects all potential defects. Comparisons of EOSTATE ExposureOT and conventional radiographic tests, CT, and destructive testing methods found that the POD of EOSTATE ExposureOT was higher than the other non-destructive methods, especially for incomplete fusion. Concretely, this means that any error detected by RT or CT scans is also clearly visible as an indication in EOSTATE ExposureOT. “EOSTATE ExposureOT reliably tells us when a part might have flaws. It hasn’t missed a single one yet. This allowed us to completely remove X-ray and CT inspections in the series production of borescope bosses. Economically speaking, the benefit is huge,” says Dr. Karl-Heinz Dusel, Head of Additive Manufacturing Technology. In the future, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer plans to upgrade EOSTATE ExposureOT from a simple process monitoring technique to an official test method. Statistical process control can also greatly simplify the evaluation of results. With just a few qualitatively defect-free manufacturing jobs, a reliable curve of tolerable deviations can be defined, and any parallel sampling process can be replaced. Further tests are only needed when deviations are observed.

“EOSTATE ExposureOT reliably tells us when a part might have flaws. This allowed us to completely remove X-ray and CT inspections in the series production of borescope bosses. Economically speaking, the benefit is huge.”

Dr. Karl-Heinz Dusel, Head of Additive Manufacturing Technology, MTU Aero Engines

Short profile

MTU Aero Engines is Germany’s leading engine manufacturer and a well-established player worldwide. The company develops, manufactures, sells, and maintains both civil and military aircraft engines in every thrust and power class, as well as stationary industrial gas turbines. MTU has subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide in key regions and markets. One of the breakthroughs achieved by MTU was in the engine construction sector as one of the first ever companies to manufacture serial components by DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering).

Aerospace: Optical Tomography Enables Considerable Savings in Quality Assurance

End-To-End Monitoring During Series Production

Components produced for the aerospace industry must satisfy strict quality assurance criteria. Especially in series production environments, there are high standards for component quality and hence process stability and reproducibility. End-to-end quality assurance is therefore crucial throughout the entire production chain.

Just a few years ago, there were no well-established testing procedures for additive manufacturing, which is why non-destructive and downstream processes such as dye penetrant testing, X-rays, and computer tomography (CT) were used for metal components. Although these conventional testing methods are an effective way to certify components in some cases, they are highly expensive and often insufficient. Quality assurance can cost many times more than production.

Challenge

New additive manufacturing processes face major challenges in the engine construction sector due to the extremely stringent requirements of safety certifications. Any component destined to fly must be continuously monitored, from raw material to final product, in order to ensure that it is completely free from faults. This means that quality assurance for industrial 3D printing – testing technology, process control, and documentation – needs new methods and economic ideas. MTU Aero Engines began to develop optical tomography (OT) in 2013 with the objective of finding a specific testing procedure that could provide 100 % monitoring and documentation for additive manufacturing processes. After successful initial research and implementation phases, this technology was further developed into the series solution EOSTATE ExposureOT in partnership with EOS GmbH. The system monitors the entire manufacturing environment with an sCMOS industrial camera and measures the heat emissions of the melting process in high resolution. The configurable software offers detailed insights into the quality of the components in each layer. Optical tomography therefore allows reproducibility to be monitored, increases comparability between components, manufacturing projects, and printing systems, and provides a way of integrating cost-effective quality assurance into series manufacturing applications. MTU Aero Engines now aims to establish EOSTATE ExposureOT as a testing procedure for additively manufactured components and thereby significantly reduce the costs associated with quality assurance

Additive serial manufacturing of borescope bosses for geared turbofan engines of Airbus A320neo. (Source: MTU Aero Engines)

Solution

MTU Aero Engines has been using EOSTATE ExposureOT for several years in additive serial manufacturing, namely for the process development and quality assurance of borescope bosses for the latest generation of Airbus A320neo geared turbofan engines. This has allowed the company to acquire comprehensive experience of this quality assurance process and perform comparisons with alternative non-destructive technologies. Initially, serial components were inspected with conventional radiographic tests and CT scans in parallel to optical tomography, and the results were systematically compared. The decisive question: can EOSTATE ExposureOT detect every possible type of defect, including cavities, pores, solid inclusions, or incomplete fusion, just as reliably as the conventional test methods? Could EOSTATE ExposureOT even achieve a greater probability of detection (POD)? Comparisons with destructive test methods such as microscope inspections of cross-sections and samples were also systematically performed. The reliability revealed by the findings gradually built up confidence in the new technology and led to a paradigm shift in quality assurance at MTU. Layer-by-layer live monitoring of the manufacturing process with EOSTATE ExposureOT is now the procedure of choice for testing additively manufactured components.

Results

A decisive milestone for series production at MTU Aero Engines with EOSTATE ExposureOT was reached when it was established that this technology reliably detects all potential defects. Comparisons of EOSTATE ExposureOT and conventional radiographic tests, CT, and destructive testing methods found that the POD of EOSTATE ExposureOT was higher than the other non-destructive methods, especially for incomplete fusion. Concretely, this means that any error detected by RT or CT scans is also clearly visible as an indication in EOSTATE ExposureOT. “EOSTATE ExposureOT reliably tells us when a part might have flaws. It hasn’t missed a single one yet. This allowed us to completely remove X-ray and CT inspections in the series production of borescope bosses. Economically speaking, the benefit is huge,” says Dr. Karl-Heinz Dusel, Head of Additive Manufacturing Technology. In the future, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer plans to upgrade EOSTATE ExposureOT from a simple process monitoring technique to an official test method. Statistical process control can also greatly simplify the evaluation of results. With just a few qualitatively defect-free manufacturing jobs, a reliable curve of tolerable deviations can be defined, and any parallel sampling process can be replaced. Further tests are only needed when deviations are observed.

“EOSTATE ExposureOT reliably tells us when a part might have flaws. This allowed us to completely remove X-ray and CT inspections in the series production of borescope bosses. Economically speaking, the benefit is huge.”

Dr. Karl-Heinz Dusel, Head of Additive Manufacturing Technology, MTU Aero Engines

Short profile

MTU Aero Engines is Germany’s leading engine manufacturer and a well-established player worldwide. The company develops, manufactures, sells, and maintains both civil and military aircraft engines in every thrust and power class, as well as stationary industrial gas turbines. MTU has subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide in key regions and markets. One of the breakthroughs achieved by MTU was in the engine construction sector as one of the first ever companies to manufacture serial components by DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering).

Further Information

Rapid Prototyping with additive manufacturing solutions by EOS

Additive manufacturing is ideally suited for Rapid Prototyping. Thanks to the highest possible degree of design freedom, even complex shapes such as bionic structures can be manufactured. It is possible to manufacture physical presentation and functional prototypes quickly and cost-efficiently without the need for manual processing – directly using three-dimensional CAD construction data. This makes the entire product development process considerably faster.

Flexible construction and material variants

EOS systems build up prototypes as well as end products layer-by-layer. Different metal and plastic powder materials are available. Products made of different materials belonging to one material family (metal or plastic) can be processed on one machine. This is especially interesting for prototype manufacturing.

 

Companies in many sectors of industry are now making successful use of laser sintering processes in their development and manufacturing processes.

EOS Quality: Result of extensive experience and the highest manufacturing standards

EOS continuously monitors the quality of all components at every process step in the value-added chain and holds the relevant product certifications and validations

The aim of EOS quality policy is to identify current customer needs and future market demands early on and meet these by means of the appropriate organisational, technological and economic resources. This is the only way to ensure the success and competitiveness of the company in the long term.

The cornerstones of our quality policy are:

EOS has defined quality principles which we implement throughout the entire company:

  • Our quality benchmark is the satisfaction of our customers
  • We strive to achieve an outstanding level of quality in all products and services
  • Secure organisational and technological processes allow us to maintain our high quality standards both reliably and economically
  • Every employee endeavours to produce work of impeccable quality and avoid errors
  • Every employee contributes to achieving our company goals and improving quality through responsible, quality-conscious action
  • We promote awareness of quality in every employee by providing training programs and information events
  • The key factor in implementing our quality policy is management acting as a role model of our principles. For this reason, the managing directors and every manager in the company are committed to align their day-to-day actions with the defined quality policy.

Quality Management

EOS quality management is focused on development and continuous improvement using the best methods available, both in terms of organisation as well as processes, systems and product. This is done in partnership with all colleagues and departments. In this way we are able to meet customer demands, our company goals and legal requirements in an efficient manner.

EOS documents its high standards by means of important certifications of its quality management system.

EOS GmbH:

certified according to ISO 9001 since 1998 for development, manufacturing, sales and service of systems and solutions for Additive Manufacturing using laser sintering technology

EOS Finland Oy:

Certified according to ISO 9001 for design, manufacture and sales of metal materials and processes for EOSINT M systems. Also certified according to ISO 13485 and Directive 93/42/EEC for medical applications with Cobalt Chrome SP2 registered as class II medical product in EU for dental applications.

KVS GmbH:

certified according to ISO 9001 for the development, production, testing and sales of polyamide powders and mixtures

EOS updates the QM processes according to standards in the medical and aerospace industries and according to GMP. EOS continuously monitors the quality of all components at every process step in the value-added chain. EOS also holds the relevant product certifications and validations (IQ, OQ, PQ) for all components of the Additive Manufacturing process. This includes processes and finished parts on the customer side as well as regulatory certificates and registrations in global markets.

Quality Assurance for Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

Quality assurance for system, material and process serves central customer requirement

Consistent and repeatable part quality is essential for series production applications.

Process, system and material –  the three technological elements of Additive Manufacturing have a direct influence on the quality of an additively manufactured component.

Thanks to the joint development and mutual adjustment of systems, materials and processes, EOS ultimately establishes the conditions for best possible part properties.

With quality control measures in all three areas this unique concept is a holistic approach to quality assurance in series production

 

 

Process: checked and validated parameters

  • all process parameters (laser power, layer thickness etc.) which are necessary for achieving certain component characteristics are based on more than 20 years of experience and comprehensive series of tests
  • required product characteristics can be achieved through the respectively optimum combination of individual parameters
  • material data sheets provide a detailed description of the material characteristics which can be achieved on this basis

System: reliably meeting manufacturing standards

  • certified to ISO 9001 for the development and manufacturing, sales and service of systems and solutions for Additive Manufacturing using the laser sintering technology since 1998
  • EOS machine acceptance tests include a comprehensive check of all system components as well as defined reference parts – test criteria: mechanical properties, tensile strength, elongation at break, surface quality, part density
  • DIN and ISO standards are applied for tests

Material: guaranteed consistent quality of every material batch

  • EOS Oy branch in Turku/Finland for development, qualification and quality assurance of metal materials: Certified to ISO 9001 and to the Medical Products Law ISO 13485
  • with multi-dimensional quality management EOS guarantees reliable consistent quality for every material batch
  • examination of every batch for its correct chemical characteristics
  • check for consistent grain size distribution
  • reference build job: density cubes and tensile bars are manufactured and analyzed according to fixed criteria under standardized conditions
  • mill test certificate is included with each delivery

Whitepaper: Hands-on quality

Setting standards for process and material development and qualification in AM

There are strict requirements when it comes to qualifying and certifying parts, materials and processes in the aerospace industry. However, the requirements have not yet been fully standardized for additive manufactuing. This article will focus on technological reliability, an aspect which is important for establishing trust in the technology. We will illustrate how material and process development is performed at EOS, setting standards for quality assurance in additive manufacturing.

Comprehensive quality management portfolio

EOS offers an expanding range of products in the field of quality management EOS-Services.

EOS also documents its own standards in the form of certifications of its quality management system and has numerous process and product certificates. Its product range also includes its material management system IPCM (Integrated Process Chain Management) for optimized material handling.