ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence— in which the U.K.-based Manufacturing Technology Centre (the MTC) is a founding partner— identified three potential areas for standardization. The effort will be supported through a £300,000 investment from Innovate UK (a U.K. government agency) to BSI (British Standards Institution) in partnership with ASTM International.
“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 center of excellence.” Wilson is on the advisory board of the center of excellence.
BSI will coordinate the development of the three standards, which are focused on directed energy deposition (DED), one of seven categories of additive manufacturing as defined by ASTM International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO/ASTM 52900). DED uses focused thermal energy (e.g., laser, electron beam, plasma arc) to fuse materials by melting as they are being deposited.
ASTM International’s global additive manufacturing director, Dr. Mohsen Seifi, notes that DED technology offers unique advantages related to speed and build-envelope limitations. However, he adds, “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 nondestructive 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 MTC, home of the UK’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, has supported this Publicly Available Specifications activity through the initial consultation process, selection of suitable topics for consideration, and identification of potential partners to form the committees. It will continue to provide support through the development of the Publicly Available Specifications and subsequent international standards.
In addition to the organizations already mentioned, more than a dozen private companies are supporting the collaboration, including Airbus, GE, GKN, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, and many others.
After the Publicly Available Specifications are created through BSI, ASTM International’s committee on additive manufacturing technologies (F42) plans to develop international standards based on each through a new licensing agreement. Notably, ASTM International has a preexisting partner standards development organization agreement (PSDO) with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in additive manufacturing which allows for creation of joint ASTM International/ISO standards. BSI, as the UK member of ISO, will be able to adopt these international standards as the UK national standard.
Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. The organization integrates consensus standards— developed with its international membership of volunteer technical experts—and innovative services to improve lives.
Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realize the potential of new ideas. The organization connects businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth. The organization funds business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Its support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.
BSI is the business improvement company that enables organizations to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. For over a century BSI has championed what good looks like and driven best practice in organizations around the world. Working with over 86,000 clients across 193 countries, it is a truly international business with skills and experience across a number of sectors including aerospace, automotive, built environment, food, and healthcare. Through its expertise in Standards Development and Knowledge Solutions, Assurance and Professional Services, BSI improves business performance to help clients grow sustainably, manage risk and ultimately be more resilient.
Established to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions, the MTC houses some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, creating a high quality environment for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale. This provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers to develop new and innovative processes and technologies. The MTC also houses the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM) bringing together the most comprehensive combination of equipment and capability in the United Kingdom.