Recent work has involved optimising both part design and processing parameters in a range of materials. A wide range of technologies have been reviewed and evaluated. A database is being developed to capture detailed mechanical property information for different materials, that will be critically important in the development of a design package.
Emerging modelling and simulation tools for process optimisation and prediction are also being evaluated in collaboration with industry partners.
DMTC’s project team involving industry partners Seco Tools and research partners the University of Queensland (UQ), SUT and RMIT has successfully demonstrated fabrication techniques for titanium parts using selective laser melting (SLM) techniques.
The team has studied the influence of various SLM process parameters on the relative densities of aluminium and stainless-steel samples. The flexural behaviour of several parts with lattice structures were studied to develop a detailed understanding of fracture patterns. The influence of solute oxygen on grain growth kinetics of titanium-based alloys has also been investigated.
A recent breakthrough in this project has been the commissioning of an actual aircraft part to manufacture. The combination of the design package – addressing limitations in design and manufacturability – and the actual part to manufacture is set to intensify work in this project.
A challenge for this team is to exploit the potential recyclability of powders used in additive manufacturing, and to investigate other sources of cost-effective powder materials for advanced manufacturing technologies such as SLM.