Study of adverse phenomena in the processing of copper powder with EBM technology (OMEGA2X project)
Project funded by INNOVATION AGENCY FOR THE VALENCIAN REGION (AVI): INNCAD00/19/114 / Budget: 181.482,52 € / Duration: 01/04/2019 – 31/03/2020 / Project Location: GH ELECTROTERMIA, S.A.U.
IDI-20190058 / Budget: 181.452 € / Duration: 12/11/2018 – 12/11/2019
Project Location: GH ELECTROTERMIA, S.A.U.
The main objective of the project is to investigate the adverse phenomena that occur in the processing of copper powder with the Electron Beam Melting (EBM) additive manufacturing technology that makes it impossible to use this technology as a stable production process.
Adverse phenomena derive from the powder itself, which is used as raw material. Inevitably, this material has to be reused in multiple cycles, this technology requires large quantities to convert only a small part into parts, the remaining material of manufacture, usually more than 95%, is mixed with a new one to start a new manufacturing process. This way of producing requires that the characteristics of the material do not evolve but remain unchanged so that each manufacture starts with the powder always in the same conditions. The truth is that it is not known how to get this material, which is fine and spherical, in stable conditions at room temperature due to the nature of copper itself. As an adverse phenomenon in this project, we also find the need to develop a new method that allows us to remove the dust from the interior of the final parts that, for the moment, has not been possible to eliminate with guarantees. Having residual dust inside the complex finished products generates a serious problem of durability of the manufactured parts.
GH ELECTROTERMIA, intends to use this new and disruptive technology for the manufacture of inductors. In order to have the durability expected from them, these tools must be highly conductive and for this purpose, all the dust must be extracted from the interior of the complex channels that make them up so that the water, that cools them, can adequately perform its function.
The main innovations that the project brings to the manufacture of inductors are:
- Use of EBM (Electron Beam Melting) technology for the production of copper inductors. Worldwide innovation.
- Use of the latest technology in additive manufacturing by electron beam fusion.
- Use of the latest technology in finite element calculation for simulations.
- Use of different combined techniques for the elimination of sintered dust inside the cooling channels of the inductors.
- Reduction of the amount of material used to manufacture inductors using EBM technology.
- Use of new non-destructive techniques for the validation of inductors developed by EBM.
- Increased powder reuse, through new processing methods.
This project has been co-funded by INNOVATION AGENCY FOR THE VALENCIAN REGION (AVI), through the Programme “Consolidation of the business value chain”. The reference number of the project is INNCAD00/19/114.