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EBAM Metal 3D Printing Solution Drastically Reduces Time, Waste and Costs on a Mission-Critical Titanium Satellite Part

Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO, Marilyn A. Hewson, shares the benefits of using Sciaky’s metal additive manufacturing technology

Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) and leading provider of metal additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, announced today that its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM(TM)) technology helped aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Space Systems reduce production time, material waste and overall costs for producing titanium propellant tanks for satellites.

Sciaky EBAM technology provides many time- and cost-saving benefits for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. (PRNewsFoto/Sciaky, Inc.)
Sciaky EBAM technology provides many time- and cost-saving benefits for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. (PRNewsFoto/Sciaky, Inc.)

Lockheed Martin Space Systems approached Sciaky back in September 2012 with a materials research and development (R&D) initiative to investigate the performance of Ti-6Al-4V (titanium) with its satellite propellant tank. Over many months of testing, the metallurgical experts at Lockheed and Sciaky were able to identify a solution that would drastically reduce time, waste and costs of the part as compared to the traditional forging method.

“When our Space Systems business area was looking for ways to reduce costs on our satellite parts, while also maintaining product quality, a company called Sciaky came to us with a solution,” said Marilyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin, while addressing attendees of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Supplier Management Council Summer Meeting on June 14, 2016 in Fort Worth, TX. “We worked together to develop titanium propellant tanks that can be 3-D printed through the use of their electron beam additive manufacturing process. The result was a tank that met our customer’s performance standards, with an 80 percent reduction in the amount of time needed to manufacture it, a 75 percent reduction in waste, and a 55 percent reduction in cost.”

As the most widely scalable metal 3D printing solution in the industry (in terms of work envelope), Sciaky’s EBAM systems can produce parts ranging from 8 inches (203 mm) to 19 feet (5.79 meters) in length, but can also manufacture smaller and larger parts, depending on the application. EBAM is also the fastest deposition process in the metal additive manufacturing market, with gross deposition rates ranging from 7 to 20 lbs. (3.18 to 9.07 kg) of metal per hour. Plus, with a dual wirefeed option, you can combine two different metal alloys into a single melt pool to create “custom alloy” parts or ingots. In addition, you can change the mixture ratio of the two materials to create “graded” parts or structures.


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