Jul 13, 2016 | By Tess

Industrial metal 3D printing company Sciaky, Inc. recently announced that it’s renowned Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) technology allowed global aerospace company Lockheed Martin Space Systems to manufacture titanium propellant tanks for satellites with significantly reduced production time, material waste, and production costs.

Sciaky, Inc. was founded in 1939 as an advanced welding systems company and has over many years established itself as a trusted name in all things related to electron beam welding and more recently, electron beam additive manufacturing. The company, now a subsidiary of Philips Service Industries, partnered with Lockheed Martin Space Systems in 2012 for an initiative to research and investigate titanium (more specifically Ti-6AI-4V) as a potential material for the company’s satellite propellant tank.

Over the course the research and development period, the scientists and experts at Lockheed Martin and Sciaky were able to successfully develop a process for producing the titanium part that significantly reduced the cost, time, and materials necessary. The process, as mentioned, involved Sciaky’s EBAM technology, which proved much more efficient than traditional forging methods. The process has allowed Lockheed Martin to manufacture the part with an 80% reduction of production time, a 75% reduction in waste, and a 55% reduction of cost.

Marilyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin spoke of the successful collaboration recently at the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Supplier Management Council Summer Meeting. She said: “When our Space Systems business area was looking for ways to reduce costs on our satellite parts, while also maintaining product quality, a company called Sciaky came to us with a solution. We worked together to develop titanium propellant tanks that can be 3-D printed through the use of their electron beam additive manufacturing process.”

In the same speech, Hewson noted that advancements and developments such as those realized with the help of Sciaky, Inc. would help her company to provide greater quality products and services to clients for a lesser cost and would help to redefine and improve supply chains. Some of Lockheed Martin’s most notable clients include over two dozen government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, as well as the U.S. Army.

Of course, Sciaky’s EBAM technology is worth noting as their innovative additive manufacturing process is currently one of the most scalable and fastest metal 3D printing systems that exists. That is, Sciaky’s range of EBAM systems are capable of manufacturing parts and objects ranging in size from 203mm (8 inches) to 5.79m (19 feet) in length. According to the company, adjustments can be made to make smaller or larger parts as well. In terms of speed, EBAM boasts a gross deposition rate ranging from 7 to 20 lbs (3.18 to 9.07 kg) of metal an hour. And, thanks to its dual wirefeed technology, users can create custom alloys by combining two different metals.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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