Aerospace additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium and global standards body SAE International have released the first technical specifications for direct energy deposition (DED)-made parts. Encompassing Norsk’s Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) technology, the specifications will help broaden the company’s customer base, and help third parties maintain appropriate standards.
Michael Canario, President and CEO at Norsk Titanium, comments, “Our engineers have thoroughly enjoyed working with the SAE team to validate our proprietary process with the engineering community,”
“RPD™ is truly a disruptive process to the current subtractive manufacturing industry with wide benefits supporting not only the supplier, but the end-user.”
Quality assured metal 3D printing
Norsk Titanium RPD is the technology used to build Boeing’s first structurally supportive 3D printed component – an upper spar part for the 787 Dreamliner. Within the MERKE IV, Norsk’s 4th generation additive manufacturing system, RPD has a part build size of 900mm x 600mm x 300mm and a typical deposition rate of between 5 and 10 kg/hr.
In the interests of the stringent aerospace industry standards, RPD is also monitored “more than 600 times per second” according to Norsk, to assure part quality.
The new SAE Aerospace Materials Specifications (AMS) developed by Norsk will help support its diligence with international regulatory requirements.
SAE Aerospace Materials Specifications for DED
Developed within the SAE Additive Manufacturing Committee (SAE AMS-AM) the new DED specifications detail the minimum basis required of RPD-made parts by both aerospace and non-aerospace customers. Respectively, the documents are titled:
The both are especially beneficial to the aerospace industry, they are also applicable to blanket DED technologies operating in other verticals.
A “critical emerging technology”
Norsk Titnaium currently operates out of Hønefoss, Norway, and Plattsburgh, New York. Since its establishment, the company’s facility in Plattsburgh has recieved significant support from the local government, including $125 million in state funding to ramp up its production. In June 2018, this very site was officially added to Boeing’s Qualified Producers List. As a first tier manufacturer for Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems has also benefited from this verification, receiving its first, qualified, RPD-made part in January this year.
Concluding the most recent advance from the company David Alexander, Director of Aerospace Standards at SAE International, said, “Given that advanced materials and advanced manufacturing are strategic focus areas for SAE International, we continue to support the aerospace industry’s advances and adoption of additive manufacturing technologies.”
“As well as contributing vital technical expertise, Norsk Titanium played a leadership role as document sponsor in the development of the groundbreaking new specifications and along with the other AMS-AM output, these new material and process specifications help address the regulatory authorities’ request for guidance material for this critical emerging technology.”
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Featured image shows Norsk Titanium RPD additive manufacturing. Photo via Spirit AeroSystems