Development of Magnesium Laser Powder Bed Fusion to manufacture light-weight components for Aerospace applications

Laser Based Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) is an Additive Manufacturing (AM) process that offers great opportunities such as weight reduction and improved performance of metallic parts. These advantages are especially beneficial for aerospace applications. Several nickel superalloys are processed in LPBF for high-temperature applications.

Titanium alloys are produced by LPBF for low weight structural applications. Aluminium alloys are used for LPBF of low weight parts and thermal applications. Magnesium LPBF offers great potential for aerospace applications due to the combination of low density and high specific strength. However, magnesium is a challenging material to process in LPBF due to its low boiling point and the high reactivity with oxygen.

The work is presented that was conducted to demonstrate the capability to produce high quality representative magnesium products by LPBF. Optimum process parameters were selected for the production of parts featuring low porosity and low roughness. Benchmark parts were produced for evaluating design rules to print magnesium parts. Demonstrator parts were successfully produced based on a representative light-weight component.

This topic will be presented by Marc de Smit, Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) during the 2021 edition of the Aerospace 3D Printing Conference.


Question 1: What drives you?
Encounter challenges, work with a team, make things work

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
to learn about new opportunities in AM

Question 3: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
short term: qualified AM processes
long term: new materials, multimaterials

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
more applications, increased efficiency

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Process stability, NDI, cost

About Marc de Smit
I work with an enthusiastic multidisciplinary team at the Metal Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre (MAMTeC) at the NLR. We work in an environment with expertise and facilities that are essential for building up advanced Metal Additive Manufacturing knowledge and skills.

About MAMTeC at NLR
MAMTeC supports your company and increases your competitiveness by technology development and product innovation. More than 45 years of materials experience in aerospace applications is applied to establish optimised process parameters and postprocessing methods. Design tools are developed, including topology optimisation for the design to meet specific strength and stiffness requirements. NLR applies the available computational mechanics expertise to predict residual stresses and deformations during the production process. These applications are used to better understand and further optimise the Metal-AM design and manufacturing process. The development of Metal-AM materials and components is supported by making use of advanced inspection methods, analysis techniques, and testing facilities.

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