GE Additive has entered into a five-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The agreement focuses on processes, materials and software to drive industrialization and encourage the broader adoption of additive manufacturing technology.
The agreement supersedes an existing CRADA in place since 2012 between ORNL and GE Additive Arcam EBM. ORNL purchased its first Arcam EBM system in 2009 for the US Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Knoxville, Tennessee. Since that time, ORNL and the Arcam EBM teams have worked together to create opportunities for companies, in multiple US manufacturing sectors, to adopt electron beam melting technology (EBM).
The research objectives of CRADA with Arcam EBM focused on: improving the process reliability of EBM technology through the use of in-situ process monitoring and closed loop control; expanding the technology to new materials systems, specifically Nickel-based superalloys; and validating microstructure and properties of Titanium Ti-6Al-4V materials fabricated with increased deposition rate.
The new CRADA, which covers all GE Additive equipment, materials and engineering services capabilities, focuses on developing and implementing novel additive technologies into commercial products including:
Building on existing research into process simulation methodologies and in-situ monitoring and quality control, on both EBM and direct metal laser melting (DMLM) systems;
Materials modeling and development; and
Industrialization and commercialization of equipment and processes.