Metal additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has emerged as a transformative force in the manufacturing industry of the 21st Century. It is an innovative technology characterized by its unique layer-by-layer construction. Industries such as automotive, medical devices, and notably, aerospace, are adopting metal 3D printing for its ability to meet high quality, precision, and compliance demands in a cost-effective manner.
The additive manufacturing process, particular with metal powders, poses questions when it comes to aerospace industry standards. Aerospace manufacturers employ this technique not only for its precision in depositing thin layers of material but also for its efficiency in mass production. Ensuring adherence to strict design specifications and user requirements, metal 3D printing utilizes electron beam and energy deposition technologies for equipment qualification and process control.
To reach this rigorous level of precision and compliance, aerospace manufacturers leveraging metal 3D printing adhere to standards set forth by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
. These standards are vital in evaluating whether the additive manufacturing technologies can produce materials that meet the rigorous material specification requirements necessary for a production environment.
Standard AMS7032 has been developed to serve this purpose. It is proposed as a foundational guideline for aviation manufacturers, offering a pathway to regulatory compliance and establishing a framework for standardization across the aerospace sector. This standard encapsulates the essentials of the additive manufacturing process, from ensuring the quality of metal powders to defining the serial number tracking for enhanced process control. It underscores the importance of each step in achieving a wide range of high-quality, cost-effective production outcomes, tailored to meet the varied and complex demands of the aerospace industry.
Achieving AMS7032 Operational Qualification
mandates several prerequisites for preparing an aerospace 3D metal printing manufacturer for qualification, including performing an installation qualification, trained operators, compliant facility controls, accredited post processing and testing laboratories, key process variable characterization, and equipment and material setup.
To perform the operational qualification (OQ) per AMS7032, three builds with various test coupons were printed back-to-back and sent to a test lab for radiographic, mechanical, metallurgical, and chemical composition analysis.
Process Flow of AMS7032 Operational Qualification (OQ) Testing
Assessing JEOL’s Electron Beam Melting Technology
The full details and results of the AMS7032 OQ testing process are too broad to include in a single blog post, so we’ve developed a white paper reviewing that not only showcases the JAM-5200EBM's capabilities but also provides crucial insights for researchers, engineers, and enthusiasts in the field.
This white paper explores:
- Qualification Process Flow: Learn about the meticulous steps taken in the OQ, including the design of three builds using Ti6Al4V powder, adherence to AMS7032 requirements, and post-processing steps such as Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP).
- Testing and Acceptance Criteria: Explore the rigorous testing requirements for tensile properties, chemical composition, radiography, and microstructure analysis. The white paper details adherence to AMS7011 specifications and acceptance criteria for each parameter.
- Qualification Results: Discover the outcomes of the JAM-5200EBM's operational qualification, including machine operation results, tensile results meeting or exceeding minimum requirements, and compliance with chemical composition and microstructure standards.
While this blog post provides a glimpse into the key points of our white paper, the complete story and detailed data are available in the document itself. We invite you to download the white paper
to gain a comprehensive understanding of the JAM-5200EBM's AMS7032 compliance and its potential impact on the future of additive manufacturing.