Global standards organisation, ASTM International is partnering with Innovate UK, BSI (British Standards Institution) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) to create a set of technical standards for additive manufacturing (AM).
ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence – in which the Coventry-based MTC is a founding partner – has identified three potential areas for standardisation.
“Innovate UK is pleased to support the creation of Publicly Available Specifications to help drive economic growth through innovation in high-value manufacturing,” said Robin Wilson, the innovation lead for high value manufacturing at Innovate UK. “This is a smart partnership that brings together UK expertise in key areas of additive manufacturing along with the infrastructure and leadership of ASTM International and its young centre of excellence.”
BSI will coordinate the development of three standards focused on directed energy deposition (DED), an AM process which uses focused thermal energy (e.g., laser, electron beam, plasma arc) to fuse materials by melting as they are deposited.
ASTM International’s global additive manufacturing director, Dr. Mohsen Seifi commented: “DED is not as widely used nor understood as some of the other additive manufacturing processes. Lack of standards are quite evident.”
“Among their many benefits, these new standards have the potential to help manufacturers and suppliers make products with consistent and reliable quality,” he said.
The three DED standards under development are:
- a specification for using wire as a DED feed-stock, helping address key requirements including composition, dimensional tolerances, contamination, packaging, handling, and storage;
- a standard for non-destructive testing (NDT) which aims to address typical causes and natures of DED defects while also reviewing traditional test methods for applicability to DED; and,
- a standard for DED wire-and-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM), which aims to cover terminology, material opportunities and restrictions, geometrical constraints, finishing requirements, inspection, and more.
The project is being supported by a 300,000 GBP investment from UK government agency, Innovate UK and BSI in partnership with ASTM International. Additionally, more than a dozen private companies are supporting the collaboration, including Airbus, GE, GKN, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.
The MTC has supported this Publicly Available Specifications activity through consultation, selection of suitable topics, and identification of potential partners. It will continue to provide support through the development of the Publicly Available Specifications and subsequent international standards. Once the Publicly Available Specifications are created through BSI, ASTM International’s committee on AM plans to develop international standards based on each through a new licensing agreement.