TUBE NEWS 2016 May 2016 - Page 45

(Left) Fig 3: Small flexible enclosure used during development exercises. The robot/enclosure interface is effectively sealed against leaks using an adaptable occlusion. (Left) Fig 4: One of the largest 3D metal parts in the UK has now been produced as a result of the Cranfield research. Designed by BAE Systems engineers, the part measures 1.2m in length and is made from titanium alloy. Known as a ‘spar section’ this forms a main structural element in the aircraft wing and took just 37 hours to build from a digital model, where previously this process would have taken many weeks. Multiple access points. References Systems can be manufactured with numerous access locations for personnel gloves and gas/ electrical entries. Large leak-tight zips afford easy access for components. 1 P.A. Kobryn, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL/MLLMP, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433 USA 2 P. Edwards, A. O’Conner and M. Ramulu J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(6), 061016 Nov 18, 2013 3. Current activity at TWI and Warwick University (UK), Trumpf (D), ARCAM (S) and University of Texas (USA). 4. Design for Wire and Arc Additive Layer Manufacture. J. Mehnen, J. Ding, Lockett, P. Kazanas. Manufacturing Department, Cranfield University 5. Williams, S.W., Martina, F., Addison, A.C., Ding, J., Pardal G., and Colegrove, P., 2015. Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing, , Materials Science and Technology 6. Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Ltd, United Kingdom. 7. Brooks R. Siemens Now Producing Gas Turbine Parts by Metal 3D Printing. American Machinist Feb 4, 2016 The largest facility supplied to the Cranfield Welding Engineering Research Centre has a volume of 27 cu m, adequate to accommodate all work-pieces, welding equipment and even a programmable robotic system. The research team ensure that the optimum gas environment during welding of titanium alloys is achieved by evacuating the enclosure prior to admitting high purity argon gas. This gives an operating oxygen content well below 100 ppm (0.01%) and for the Cranfied team this is considered low enough to prevent significant oxidation of titanium alloys during welding and cooling. Author: Dr Michael J Fletcher, Delta Consultants 45 TN MAY 2016