Additive Manufacturing is a maturing technology that is being increasingly explored as a means to improve performance, decrease time-to-market, and/or reduce cost. However, industry standards pertaining to material properties consistency, design factors, and inspection are still in their development infancy.
Our customer’s components are often mission-critical and they expect us, as partners and experts in our field to not only guarantee the quality, they need to know when it is right to use Additive Manufacturing or seek other, more efficient, manufacturing techniques.
With that in mind, BNI has recently completed a two-year process, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, to define, understand, and documenting the entire value chain for Additively Manufactured turbomachinery. These include Additive Manufacturing machine vendor selection, powder selection, printing parameters, material properties in extreme environments, design constraints, final machining (if necessary), testing, and final part inspection.
We went one step further and, to ensure we had not missed any processes, designed and built a rocket engine turbopump, the most extreme of all turbomachinery systems.
As a result, BNI is now offering the following products and services:
BNI has a proven process for characterizing Direct Metal Laser Sintered materials and has an initial database for K500 Monel, Inconel 718, 316 Stainless Steel, and Additive Manufacturing Design Aluminum. We can perform similar materials characterization studies for you.
Design for Manufacturing Trade Studies
BNI can perform Schedule vs Cost vs Performance Comparisons on the components in your system. Based on the new data sets and our 50 years of design and manufacturing turbomachinery, we can advise you on the value of using Additive Manufacturing over Traditional processes such as casting and machining.
There are a growing number of cases where Additive Manufacturing can be used to improve performance, lower cost, or decrease product delivery time. In such cases, BNI can design the parts and ensure the right design parameters are used. Such considerations may include design safety factors, inspection, and/or post-processing techniques.
BNI has spent the last two years developing deep partnerships with suppliers of Direct Metal Laser Sintered components. We bring to the partnership knowledge of the intended application, the design requirements, and the resources to turn their rough printed parts into final works of precise art. We work with these vendors to ensure the components are optimized for Additive Manufacturing, define the required post-processing steps, performance final machining, and inspection/test for component consistency.