Skip to content

It's Not Rocket Science Unveiling the Myths and Realities of "AM Qualification" for Aerospace & Defense Applications

  • today
  • access_time -
  • location_on408 A
  • blur_circularConference
Conference Abstract: This will be comprehensive and highly technical exploration of the qualification process for LPBF-AM materials in the aerospace sector, addressing industry myths. By examining cases that we derived from the NASA Qual, MMPDS, ASTM, ASM, and aerospace primes, we aim to provide a grounded and factual perspective on the material qualification challenges and strategies in the aerospace and defense industry.

We will dissect the intricacies of the "qualification" buzzword, scrutinizing the factors contributing to its perceived complexity. This includes a detailed examination of process parameters such as laser power, scanning speed, layer thickness, hatch distance, vector length, volume recoating and their impact on material properties like mechanical strength and microstructural integrity. We will share methodologies employed for material characterization and validation, including NDT techniques and advanced material analysis.

The key is to address the myth of inflated costs associated with material qualification. Through an analytical lens, we explore the cost drivers in the AM value chain, from powder procurement to post-processing activities. The economic analysis delves into cost-benefit considerations, highlighting how investment in AM technology can be justified through improved material performance, reduced lead times, and potential for design optimization.

Our investigation includes case studies, providing insights into their qualification protocols and performance criteria. For example, we display the role of MMPDS in standardizing material properties and implications for industry-wide adoption of AM. We offer a real-world perspective on the practical challenges and solutions in material qualification, including strategies for ensuring repeatability and reproducibility in AM.

Our objective is to demystify and debunk the complexities and cost and lead time concerns associated with AM qualification for aerospace. It is taking organizations two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to qualify for AM - a process that can be reduced to a few weeks and a fraction of the cost.