Published on July 11th, 2016 | by Geetika Bhasin
Seimens and Fraunhofer Collaborate To Launch New Additive Manufacturing Processes
Many corporations are taking the environmental-friendly path, to reduce their negative effect on the environment. One such big company Seimens, has invested billions of dollars in the development of clean energy and environment sustainable technologies.
Seimens Clean Energy Cente, is Seimen’s test combustion center that was installed at Ludwigsfelde, Germany, near Berlin. Its primary aim is to test the gas power turbine which is subjected to temperatures above 1500 °C and emitted less carbon dioxide than coal. Seimens claims that their 375-megawatt H-Class gas turbine is the best in the world.
This is an extremely slow process as the turbine components that are made of super alloys and cast with precision, take a long time to be manufactured and involve huge investments.
Researchers at Seimens collaborated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology experts to develop a process using selective laser melting to develop turbine vanes that would be subjected to the hot gas area of the turbine engine. These turbine vanes need to be tested for heat withstanding capacity for which they have to be precisely cast. Fraunhofer which has been into laser-based technology manufacturing for a long time now could master the art of developing the turbine parts with powder bed-based SLM, with much ease.
The gas turbines include gas vanes which are difficult-to-manufacture, huge structures involve complex manufacturing techniques. Seimens has simplified this process by adopting a new modular manufacturing method that involves making the parts separately and then combining the SLM parts with those parts that are made using traditional manufacturing methods.
SLM is an expensive technology that could be reserved for parts that cannot be manufactured using casting methods. This technology paves the way for a new production process where 3D technology can be combined with the old manufacturing methods.