Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) and suppliers of electron beam (EB) welding and metal additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, today announced on July 7 an uptick in demand for its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) and EB welding solutions, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two months, Sciaky has reported a dozen new projects, ranging from high-level research and development (R&D) projects to production of prototype and production parts, mostly tied to the aerospace industry. Details of these projects are protected by nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), due to their confidential nature.
Of particular note, many of the EBAM metal 3D printing projects involve a wide variety of high-value materials, such as titanium, Inconel, niobium, copper-nickel and stainless steel. In addition, the amount of material deposition is particularly high for titanium (1500 lbs. / 680 kg) and copper-nickel (1100 lbs. / 498 kg).
Sciaky's EBAM metal 3D printing solution is a wire-based direct energy deposition (DED) process. Wire feedstock raw material is available in titanium, tantalum, tungsten, Inconel, niobium, nickel-copper, copper-nickel, aluminum, molybdenum, zircalloy, and stainless steel. In many cases, wire feedstock is 50 percent cheaper (or more) than powder feedstock. In addition, wire feedstock is safer and easier to store than powder feedstock (the powder used in aluminum and titanium is known to be highly flammable), according to the company.
Sciaky's EBAM systems can produce parts ranging from 8 inches (203 mm) to 19 feet (5.79 meters) in length. EBAM features gross deposition rates up to 25 lbs. (11.34 kg) of metal per hour. EBAM brings quality and control together with IRISS – the Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System, which is the only real-time adaptive control system in the metal 3D printing market that can sense and digitally self-adjust metal deposition with precision and repeatability. This innovative closed-loop control is the primary reason that Sciaky's EBAM 3D printing process delivers consistent part geometry, mechanical properties, microstructure, and metal chemistry, from the first part to the last.