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EU-project will develop Additive Manufacturing

Published: 6 May 2019

The EIT RawMaterials funded innovation project SAMOA, led by Luleå University of Technology, aims to scale up the process chain of raw aluminium alloys from material efficient powder production, energy efficient laser and arc wire additive manufacturing to material recycling in order to reduce material need of up to 50 per cent.

SAMOA – Sustainable Aluminium Additive Manufacturing for high performance applications – is an EU research project in which new high strength aluminium alloys with reduced Si content, increased material strength and processable will be developed. The performance and sustainability will be shown in a demonstrative processing chain.

– It is a large project with large resources so I think we can make noticeable progress in Additive Manufacturing, both in scientific research and in industrial applications, says Jörg Volpp, Associate Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

The researchers will develop Additive Manufacturing for aluminium for both powder- and wire-based processes, which will make the technology more accessible to the industry. The goal is to increase precision, build-up rates and processing speed for Additive Manufacturing of high strength components.

– One of the advantages of Additive Manufacturing is that it is possible to replace complex constructions with one piece, which can be designed to have lower weight. The material waste is therefore less compared to traditional methods. We will also work with recycling strategies to reduce waste and the need for new material.

A new recycling method that uses aluminium waste will be developed in the project. The material waste arises in the factory and instead of having it transported away, it is melted with a laser beam and the drops that occur are used to directly build a new component. This minimizes the steps from waste to new components.

In SAMOA, demonstrator parts for various industries will be developed, including for the automotive and transport industry as well as the medical sector.

– Fiat will develop car components, while Siemens will manufacture a C-arm that is used for diagnostic imaging in the medical sector. Siemens also aims to be able to mass-produce movement control that are for example used for trains. The demonstrator parts will be integrated into a demonstration product line. We will also develop new high-performance aluminium powders for increasing the strength of the manufactured components, says Jörg Volpp.

SAMOA project has started in April 2019 and is will continue for three years. The total budget is 3.4 million euros and is part of the Circular Societies Lighthouse Innovation Programme, EIT RawMaterials. Partners are Luleå University of Technology, Politecnico Milano, Fraunhofer IWS, IMR metal powder technologies, Gemmate, Centro Ricerche FIAT and Siemens.