Italian defence contractor Leonardo has efficiently utilized Italian 3D printer producer ROBOZE’s FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) 3D printing know-how to supply aerospace elements.
Leonardo used ROBOZE’s ARGO line of 3D printers to fabricate a variety of carbon fiber-filled nylon 6 and PEEK elements. By switching from typical manufacturing strategies to additive manufacturing (AM), the Italian defence firm was capable of make time and value financial savings. As well as, Leonardo was capable of reap the benefits of the elevated design flexibility allowed by the method, to supply elements with elevated thermal and chemical resistance.
“Techno-polymers comparable to Polyether Ether ketone (PEEK), mixed with a excessive presence of chopped carbon fibers, open up some attention-grabbing horizons for growth,” mentioned Stefano Corvaglia, Mental Property Supervisor and Head of Analysis and Improvement of the Aerostructures Division. “Testing with these supplies is of specific scientific and technological curiosity since they provide some structural and chemical-physical properties of utmost technological significance to the objects produced, for instance thermal and chemical resistance”.
Utilizing ROBOZE’s 3D printing know-how, Leonardo discovered that it might produce aerospace elements extra effectively. Picture through Leonardo.
ROBOZE within the 3D printing business
Based in 2014, and with headquarters based mostly each in Bari, Italy and in Texas, ROBOZE is a developer of high-temperature FFF/FDM 3D printers and superior thermoplastic polymers. Also known as “superpolymers,” elements produced utilizing the corporate’s 3D printing supplies comparable to carbon PA and carbon PEEK, are reportedly capable of match the mechanical properties of these created utilizing metals.
ROBOZE has entered into partnerships to develop these efficiency polymers with firms comparable to SABIC and Solvay, as a way to create a variety of high-performance filaments. The EXTEM AMHH811F filament developed with SABIC as an illustration, is very heat-resistant and flame-retardant, and was produced to interchange metals in excessive functions.
Because the launch of the corporate’s One+400 3D printer, ROBOZE methods have all featured its patented beltless system. This contains the ARGO 500 system which, in contrast to its predecessor, was capable of print alternative elements with excessive viscosity supplies comparable to PEEK, Ultem AM9085F, carbon PA and PEEK crammed with carbon fibers.
The corporate’s newest vary of 3D printers, the Xtreme sequence, was launched in North America at RAPID+TCT 2019. Designed to bridge the hole between the ROBOZE’s desktop and manufacturing methods, the One Xtreme and One+400 Xtreme have been dubbed “desktop/manufacturing printers.” The 3D printers featured upgraded belt methods and Excessive Viscosity Polymers (HVP) extruders, facilitating the processing of tougher supplies.
Extra not too long ago, ROBOZE has collaborated with universities to develop its 3D printing know-how for defence functions. In 2019 for instance, the corporate labored with SkyBox Engineering, an aerospace analysis and growth spin-off from the College of Pisa, to supply practical elements for a drone. Moreover, the ROBOZE partnered with The College of Delaware in February 2020, to speed up the 3D printing of completed elements and mission-critical elements for the US Military.
In ROBOZE’s newest partnership with defence contractor Leonardo, the corporate is now making an attempt to develop the aerospace functions of its 3D printing know-how throughout the defence business.
The recent construct chamber of the ROBOZE Argo 500 3D printer (pictured), which is designed for steady operation. Picture through ROBOZE.
The collaboration between ROBOZE and Leonardo
Using ROBOZE ARGO 500 industrial 3D printers, Leonardo was reportedly capable of take away any of the floor porosity and roughness related to 3D printing utilizing fused filament supplies. This was considerably as a result of system’s patented beltless design, which is ready to produce elements with precision ranges of as much as zero.01 mm. Furthermore, the method is repeatable, and suitable with the very best performing polymers and composite supplies, providing productiveness advantages to the Italian defence contractors as properly.
The check itself was geared toward changing conventional metallic molds with polymer-based components comparable to Carbon PA and Carbon PEEK. By optimizing the printing parameters of the ROBOZE 3D printer, Leonardo was capable of not simply produce elements with easy surfaces, however to keep up a vacuum, which is a necessary a part of the supplies’ curing course of.
Moreover, using technopolymers throughout the AM course of, enabled the corporate to make use of them for enhanced high-temperature functions. Throughout testing, the excessive degree of thermal stability offered by the polymer and carbon fiber supplies didn’t trigger important deformations within the molds through the cross-linking vulcanization course of. In consequence, Leonardo discovered that via utilizing these heat-resistant composites, it might scale back growth prices and occasions in comparison with conventional manufacturing methods.
The venture, led by Nicola Gallo, Lead Engineer of Leonardo’s aerostructures division, was acknowledged through the A&T 2020 truthful in Turin throughout February 2020, receiving the Innovation four.zero award within the analysis and college class. Now, having efficiently built-in 3D printing into Leonardo’s manufacturing course of, the businesses will look at the sturdiness and repetition of the method inside thermal cycles.
“Thermoplastic techno-polymers are made up of non-interconnected chains which might be linear or have few branches. By elevating the temperature, we’re capable of deliver them to a viscous state and subsequently to form them and, within the case of additive know-how, to manufacture them in layers” added Corvaglia. “What’s extra, due to a know-how that permits us to realize beforehand unattainable ranges of precision in fabrication, we are able to enhance our capability and velocity in creating prototypes.”
Warmth resistance and FFF 3D printing supplies
3D printing materials producers are more and more creating polymers for FFF methods that show enhanced warmth and chemical resistant qualities.
Ohio-based chemical compounds and supplies firm Lubrizol as an illustration, launched three new FFF thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) supplies for fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing in June 2020. The thermoplastics, designed to be used in FFF functions comparable to industrial jigs and fixtures, show long-term warmth efficiency.
Polish 3D printing filament producer Spectrum Filaments, launched its new ABS Medical and PETG FX120 polymers in April 2020. Each filaments are versatile, and show a high-temperature resistance.
Texas-based 3D printer producer Essentium Inc, introduced a partnership with chemical and mineral supplies specialist LEHVOSS Group to develop high-performance supplies in March 2020. The road of PEEK supplies and Excessive-Temperature Nylons (HTN), have been created particularly for production-level extrusion-based 3D printing processes.
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Featured picture reveals a fighter jet developed utilizing Leonardo’s aerospace know-how. Picture through Leonardo.
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