AM ResearchMetal Additive Manufacturing

Fastech and CSU accelerate the adoption of AM in the forging industry

Focusing on manufacturing forging preforms thanks to a grant from the Forging Industry Education and Research Foundation (FIERF)

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Advancements in additive manufacturing technology are reshaping the production of metallic components – moving it out of the nascent stage towards a reliable manufacturing alternative. This shift is mainly due to AM’s comparative advantage of significantly lower input alloy and energy requirements over traditional methods like forging.

An exciting development in this realm is the use of AM technology in the creation of forging preforms. This novel application not only optimizes the process from multiple steps to a single step, but also merges the efficiency of near-net-shape manufacturing with the robustness of wrought manufacturing methods.

In this context, Dr. Tushar Borkar from Cleveland State University (CSU) has received notable recognition. The Forging Industry Education and Research Foundation (FIERF) has awarded Dr. Borkar a grant to explore the potential of AM processes in minimizing the cycle time of forging operations. Dr. Borkar’s work, in collaboration with Fastech Engineering, is marked by an innovative exploration of Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology for manufacturing forging preforms.

Fastech Engineering’s WAAM system has shown promising capability in printing small to large-scale components using various materials including steel, titanium, nickel, and aluminum alloys. The system’s sophisticated feedback controls allow for impressive deposition rates of up to 5kg/h in both 3-axis and 5-axis configurations.

Alongside the practical application of the technology, CSU is conducting research into the impacts of processing parameters on the microstructure and mechanical behavior of 316 stainless steel parts. These parts are created using a variety of processes, including WAAM, followed by forging. The results obtained will be benchmarked against other post-processing methods like vacuum hot press and spark plasma sintering.

This collaborative venture between Fastech and CSU aims to extend the application of this technology to other alloys in the forging industry. The goal is to further reduce manufacturing cycle times – pushing the boundaries of what is currently possible in the industry.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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