GE Additive unveiled the Arcam EBM Spectra™ H, a new metal additive manufacturing system, designed to handle high heat and crack prone materials. The Arcam EBM Spectra H complements the company’s existing electron beam melting systems.
Unveiled at the RAPID + TCT 2018 show, the new system is available to pre-order. It will be manufactured at Arcam’s plant near Gothenburg, Sweden with expected delivery from Q4 2018 onwards.
As manufacturers make significant steps towards serial production, they require larger, faster, industrialized solutions and machines that are capable of handling high heat and crack prone materials, such as titanium aluminide (TiAl). Today, electron beam melting remains the only commercial additive manufacturing method able to support TiAl production requirements.
Initially, the Arcam EBM Spectra H will support both TiAl and Alloy 718 and additional Ni-super alloys will be supported from 2019. GE Additive‘s materials science team is currently exploring future opportunities for a wider range high heat materials, including; nickel superalloys, tungsten, CoCr, stainless steel and metal matrix composites.
The Arcam EBM Spectra H incorporates a range of new features and enhancements to drive down cost by increasing the productivity of the system including an increased build speed of up to 50%. A 6kW HV-unit means that all pre- and post-heating steps take half the time compared with current EBM machines. The machine includes improved heat management through the incorporation of a moveable heat shield to keep heat in the build area and improved layering procedure reduces the need for heating, saving approximately five hours for a full height build. The build volume was also increased 39% from 200x200x380mm to 250x250x430mm
Arcam xQam™ automatic calibration technology improves the position and focus accuracy and removes need for manual calibration, reducing the process from three to four hours to 15 minutes. This innovation will be incorporated on the Arcam EBM Spectra H and all Qplus systems. The project team is currently exploring the potential for future in situ part qualification.
The system includes an improved and automated powder handling process and an automated, self-dosing sieve and hopper filling station process. Powder weight is controlled in the PRS and inside the hopper filling station. Closed powder handling maintains batch integrity and reduces the risk of contamination. A dust tight environment in all steps of the process maintains powder batch integrity. Removal of unwanted particles is handled by a thorough process; a cyclone for small and low-density particles, and a sieve for coarse particles and magnetic traps.
“This new system shows our commitment to developing industry-leading additive machines, materials, and services. We remain focused on accelerating innovation across sectors and helping the world work smarter, faster and more efficiently,” said Jason Oliver President and CEO, GE Additive.
“It’s great to be able to show the Spectra H here at RAPID and get feedback from across the industry. We have created what we think is an amazing system that demonstrates how Arcam continues to push the possibilities of EBM technology. Spectra H is the result of really hard work by a cross-functional team from across the GE Additive family, supported by insights and feedback from a handful of internal and external customers,” said Karl Lindblom, general manager, Arcam EBM.