Additive Manufacturing:

Materials to 3D Solutions

Additive Manufacturing reduces time to market, shortens supply chains and enables ‘impossible’ products with improved functionality.

This vision is bold and the advantages claimed are substantial, but in many cases the 3D printing technology is not developed to its full potential.

Often, the supply chain is not in place, the specifications for powder, process and materials heat treatments are incomplete, the customers’ requirements not fully understood and the advantages more aspirational than proven.

At Materials Solutions we have over 10 years’ experience supplying complex metals 3D printed parts to the world’s most advanced engineering companies.

 

How do we do this?

Ove the last 10 years we have learnt how to use metals powder bed additive manufacturing to its full potential, and how to apply it to make larger parts than anyone had made before, in the materials customers needed for high temperature applications. We learnt how to integrate hundreds of parts into 1, removing joins and fastening systems (been doing this since 2006) providing a better product, faster.

We have the most advanced tools and equipment and a world-class team of metallurgists and engineer in a good place to think and work.

Leading-edge customers from around the world came to us with puzzles to solve:

  • Can we make a complex assembly of parts as a single piece?
  • Can we save weight and still keep performance?
  • What were the materials properties and can they be improved?
  • Is the process stable and repeatable? Prove it.
  • How much will it cost… now and in the future, and where can I source volume parts?
  • Can we make parts in the most advanced nickel superalloys- such as 247LC-used for the highest temperature applications?
  • Can we make large Titanium parts to high accuracy and defect free?
  • Can we engineer novel materials and develop processes for them?

Solving these puzzles makes us experts in our field.

They stretch us to find ways of delivering performance gains for next-generation products.

We speed up new projects and solve problems- by building ‘real’ stuff in advance materials and supplying knowhow and advice

 

We operate a flat organisation, no ‘layer cake’ here. All our engineers have a deep understanding of the technology and operate it on a daily basis. Our engineers discuss the requirements directly with our customers’ engineers and provide design-for-manufacture advice based on practical experience learnt from years of experience. They read the engineering drawings and operate the CAD workstations. They program the Selective Laser Melting machines and use the materials analysis and inspection equipment- which includes electron and optical microscopes. They select the heat treatments and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) processes. They manage the final machining, hand finishing, abrasive blasting and inspection. They complete the documentation and submit it for customer approval. They manage the whole process. They are formally trained in all of these aspects. The only area they do not directly work is in inspection where we use GOM structured light optical measurement and programmable CMM- its better to have your work checked by someone else…

A Rolls Royce video where students visited Materials Solutions is here… https://youtu.be/afvDFBk-MZQ

We are AS9100 Rev D:ISO9001:2015 (aerospace) approved and have many supplier approvals including from; Rolls-Royce Plc., Rolls-Royce- Nuclear Sector, Rolls-Royce-Deutschland, SNECMA, ITP, Sumitomo Precision Products and famous autosports engine makers and teams we cannot name- which is a shame as you would be impressed!

Our specialty is making turbomachinery parts, particularly high temperature applications for gas turbines where accuracy, surface finish and the highest materials quality is important to ensure operational performance of the parts in service.

We use EOS ‘DMLS’ machines though the process is also known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Powder Bed Fusion Direct Laser Deposition (DLD) and we presently operate 14 EOS M270- M290, 1 M400-4 (4 laser) and two EOS M400-1 (single laser). On these we develop our own materials capabilities, particularly in nickel superalloys including a unique capability in 247LC and specialist steels.

We have our own vacuum furnace and Agie Charmilles Cut 30 wire Electro Discharge Machine (EDM). We have a machine shop and bench finishing and are Rolls-Royce approved for visual inspection, abrasive blasting and EDM as well as laser/powder processing.

Maybe we can help you too?

We specialise in high temperature alloys because it needs doing. Improved combustion processes and reduced compressor losses reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption. This requires better fuel/air mixing, higher temperatures and better use of cooling air. So novel designs in nickel superalloys are our core skill.

We have developed our own processes and validated commercial processes on our own machines- to make parts in many high strength high temperature alloys including; Hastalloy X, Inconel 625, Inconel 718 and 718Plus, C263, MAR M-002, C1023, In738 and 247LC (cobalt chrome too if you wish).

We also develop processes for sea water and nuclear applications in advanced stainless steels and build parts in them too, such as; 17-4 and 15-5, 316 and duplex stainless steels.

We make aluminum diecasting tooling in M300 maraging steel.

And we deliver high performance titanium parts in Ti6/4 andTi6242 for safety critical hydraulic and structural applications in aerospace and automotive.

 

Helping you succeed

Okay – so what don’t we do?

We are not expert in medical devices and we don’t ‘do’ jewelry or lifestyle products- there are others out there that are expert in these fields.

And we’re not good where ‘shipped is better than perfect’ – our processes and quality control don’t allow this. But we do understand that quicker is better- and we’re always working on improving lead time.

We help our customers make sense of Additive Manufacturing and apply it well to their designs by providing ‘design for manufacture’ advice. We’ll also tell you if Additive Manufacturing is not (yet?) the best way forward for the application.

We are experts at what we do- not what you do. We partner with you to engineer a better product.