Rosatom is a state corporation in Russia that runs nuclear projects for energy and military projects for domestic use. It plans to use 3D printing for printing parts of their nuclear power plants and reactors.
Rosatom unveiled the first Russian-made TSNIITMASH metal 3D printer in the International Industrial Trade Fair Innoprom 2016, which was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in early July. This printer has a 1,000-watt laser and is expected to have an output of up to 70 cubic centimeters per hour by the year 2017. Rosatom plans to make it available for heavy industries throughout Russia. These industries cater to the nuclear sector which requires complex metal components.
Nuclear applications are complex and risky therefore the parts have to be reliable. Aleksey Dub, Rosatom’s science and innovations division deputy director, said that the technology will be incorporated slowly for nuclear parts development. If it becomes successful, Rosatom will expand it to the other sectors. And by the end of 2018, the director suggested, Rosatom will be trained to develop this technology efficiently. They are gathering technology tools and expertise needed to implement the additive manufacturing technology.
The 3D printed parts will be tested to withstand radiation. Single parts will be tested and Rosatom hopes to reduce the manufacturing costs using this technology. The TSNIITMASH 3D printer will be used for that process, but Rosatom is working on developing new materials and technologies for that 3D printer, to increase its efficiency. A new and improved version will be set up by 2017. 3D printing chamber too is huge and Rosatom plans to carry out massive nuclear 3D printing projects there. So metal 3D printing has found its roots in Russia, and its execution will take place shortly.