We start with a 3D printed part for the nuclear powder industry in today’s 3D printing news briefs. Then we’ll move on to two separate research projects, before wrapping up with some fun new material.
Westinghouse 3D prints fuel debris filter for nuclear power plants
Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB has turned to 3D printing to improve the operational reliability of two Nordic Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), one in Finland and the other in Sweden. The company manufactured and installed the StrongHold AM nuclear fuel debris filter in the units, which it called an industry first. The operations of these nuclear power plants can be temporarily suspended in the event of damage to the fuel, which costs time and money. Working with plant operators Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) and OKG, Westinghouse 3D printed the filters, which provide enhanced capture capabilities to prevent debris from entering the fuel assembly and damaging the cladding .
“We can now gain significant hands-on experience in the use of 3D printed metal products which will become an increasingly important operational solution in the future,” said Arttu Knuutila, Fuel Procurement Team Leader from TVO. “It’s important to have a strong network of partners like Westinghouse that are deploying additive manufacturing to improve capabilities.”
Researchers use SLM to 3D print single crystal nickel
A team of researchers from the National Institute of Materials Science of Japan, Kyushu University and Osaka University have published an article about their work using SLM to 3D print pure nickel single crystal structures. High temperature 3D printed Ni-based superalloys, such as Inconel, are increasingly in demand, particularly in the aerospace sector, and although single crystal turbine blades can operate at much higher temperatures than crystalline, they cannot be treated with lasers. Monocrystalline seedless AM (build plate). These researchers didn’t need a seed, because they used a flat laser profile to 3D print single-crystal Ni.
With all the parameters to manage in the SLM and its high thermal gradient, high strain and dislocation densities can occur causing internal dynamic crystallization and new grains. The researchers said the scanning strategy needs to be improved to allow more precise control of the microstructure, but there have been no studies of flat-top beam profiles for this purpose so far. . An SLM 280 HL from SLM Solutions was used to print Ni structures in an argon environment, and the behavior of single flat laser tracks was examined with polycrystalline Ni plates, so the team could estimate the shape resulting melt pools. They optimized the planar weld pool to 3D print a homogeneous single-crystal structure of pure Ni, without having to use a single-crystal build plate.
Researchers study the thermal properties of 3D printed walls
Another team of researchers, this time from St. Petersburg’s Peter the Great Polytechnic University, published a paper on their evaluation of the thermal properties of 3D-printed walls. They explain that using 3D printed concrete (3DPC) with a modular building system can offer more sustainable solutions, as well as reduce energy consumption and increase thermal comfort, and the team decided to study the overall energy efficiency and the adequacy of the 3D printed enclosure structures (walls) to find the optimal configuration with the thermal characteristics involved. They 3D printed a 390×680×310mm wall panel, with a thickness of 35mm, and performed all kinds of tests and measurements to determine the heat transfer resistance of the 3D printed structure. They also used a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program from ANSYS CFX to study heat convection and conduction in the 3D-printed wall.
“This work investigates and develops energy-efficient 3D printable walls that can be implemented worldwide through energy efficiency and sustainability criteria. Numerical research and experimental investigations, bench tests with software packages and modern high-precision equipment were used to study the thermal performance of 3DPC envelopes with different types of configurations, material arrangements and types of insulation.The research results showed that an innovative and energy-efficient ventilated 3DPC envelope in energy with a low coefficient of thermal conductivity was developed according to the climatic zone.The annual costs of thermal energy consumed for heating and the carbon footprint were determined in the Revit Insight software package to assess the energy efficiency of the 3D printed building The thermal properties of the main wall body of the 3D printed walls 3D tested were calculated with on-site monitoring data. The infrared thermography technique detected heterogeneous and non-uniform temperature distributions on the outer wall surface of the envelopes tested in 3DPC,” the researchers wrote in the abstract.
Filaticum adds fuzzy PLA-based filament
Finally, the Hungarian-based industrial filament manufacturer and supplier Filaticum, founded in 2015, presented its latest material development: Filaticum Fuzzy, for 3D printing unique objects with a distinct and special surface. This addition to its materials portfolio is PLA-based, which means that while your prints will be blurry, PLA print settings can be used as a benchmark when using this filament. Users can vary the printing temperature between 200 and 240°C to change the surface texture, and a surface with “craters” can be printed with lower throughput.
Filaticum Fuzzy has some special characteristics, which means that typical FDM layers are blurred almost to the point of disappearing, and a fuzzy, fluffy surface is formed instead, without having to define a special impression skin. The composite filament has demonstrated high impact resistance, better Z-axis adhesion compared to standard PLA, and can also be post-processed well. You can buy a 750 gram Fuzzy reel for €28.5 including VAT, in blue, green, black, red and yellow.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Stay up to date on all the latest 3D printing industry news and receive information and offers from third-party vendors.