Carpenter additive manufacturing facility receives aerospace quality certification

Carpenter Technology Corporation, a Pennsylvania-headquartered manufacturer of premium specialty metals alloys and powders, has announced that its additive manufacturing production facility, CalRAM received Aerospace Standard 9100 Revision D (AS9100 Rev D) certification for its quality management system. Stephen Peskosky, Vice President of Corporate Development at Carpenter said:

“For companies going out for aero-structures work, or satellites work, one of their first key filtering processes is that the company they work with has to be AS9100 D. If you don’t have that, most companies, airframe guys, defense contractors, engine manufacturers, they won’t even talk to you.”

Meeting the aerospace standard

Earlier this year, Carpenter acquired the 25,000 square foot facility of powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing specialist CalRAM. This site currently houses powder manufacturing equipment with electron beam melting (EBM), laser sintering, and heat treatment finishing services for low volume parts.

As an internationally recognized quality management standard for the aerospace industry, AS9100 Rev D certification for additive manufacturing has been given to a select few manufacturers. This includes ZYCI, an Atlanta-based 3D printing and CNC milling service bureau as well as Kanfit an Israeli aerospace part manufacturer.

Although Carpenter has received this certification for other sectors producing materials used in aerospace products, the facility was required to go through a rigorous assessment to evaluate the processes of manufacturing actual aerospace components.

According to Peskosky, the evaluation involved “a massive questionnaire,” site visits from assessors, and interviews with employees. “They really go through it with a fine-toothed comb,” he added.

EBM 3D printing in action at CalRAM's Cupertino, California Facility. Photo via CalRAM.
EBM 3D printing in action at CalRAM’s Cupertino, California Facility. Photo via CalRAM.

An edge on additive manufacturing for aerospace

Most recently, Carpenter became a founding member of the GE Additive Manufacturing Partner Network, which aims to increase the volume of 3D printed components in aerospace. As part of this agreement, an Arcam EBM Q20plus 3D printer was recently installed at the CalRAM plant, aiming to enable large-scale production of aerospace components, such as structural airframe parts and turbine blades.

Prior to this, in 2017 Carpenter acquired,West Virginia-based titanium powder manufacturer Puris in a $35 million deal. As a result of this acquisition, Carpenter has created the CARTECH PURIS 5 titanium powder for metal 3D printing designed with maximum re-usability and material strength.

“We’re buying companies that are just getting started so that we can bring the Carpenter expertise and backing to grow those more quickly,” explained Tony Thene, President and CEO at Carpenter.

Carpenter also plans on investing $52 million towards an Emerging Technology Center on its Athens, Alabama campus which will initially focus on the development of additive manufacturing technologies.

Spherical quality of Carpenter's Puris titanium powder. Image via Puris.
Spherical quality of Carpenter’s Puris titanium powder. Image via Puris.

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Featured image shows rolled tubes of TI 6AL 4V grade 5 titanium, the material in powdered production by Carpenter Technology. Photo via
Titanium Processing Center.