SURFACE ENGINEERING FOR PARTS MADE BY ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
: Aerospace & aeronautics engineering [Engineering, computing & technology] | : Ingénierie aérospatiale [Ingénierie, informatique & technologie]
the surface preparation of metal parts made by additive manufacturing (AM). AM is a technology of choice for manufacturing of parts with complex shapes (heat exchangers, RF supports, optical parts…) and integrated functions such as conformal cooling channels, clips, hinges, etc. This opens the door for lightweight parts which are of prime importance for space applications. The potential of the AM technologies is however impeded by the quite rough
surface finish that is observed on the as-manufactured parts. It is known that such a finish is likely to impact the
performance of the parts. Several post-treatment techniques can be applied to improve the surface condition of the AM parts. However, so far, the influence of the successive post-processing steps on the final properties is not well established. Therefore, a better understanding of the impact of surface characteristics on the material behaviour is needed to expand the use of AM for high performance parts.
The objective of this study, supported by ESA, is to propose and evaluate various surface finishing techniques for parts made by the AM technologies, in order to check their compatibility, evaluate their properties and derive
guidelines for future applications. CRM is the prime proposer of this study and is in charge of the surface treatment and characterisations. Sirris additive manufacturing facilities are used to produce the parts. Thales Alenia Space and Walopt are included into the industrial team to provide concrete application cases. The study focuses on metals. Two metals under study are presented here: AlSi10Mg and Ti6Al4V.
This paper is devoted to the early results of the first steps of surface preparation, namely material removal from the surface of the produced parts in order to improve their surface properties. As a first phase, tribo-finishing (TF) is tested on prototype parts to check its capabilities. Surface and volume parameters are analyzed, namely achieved roughness, material removal rate, location of removed material. The limitations in terms of geometry and applicability are discussed as well. These first observations should serve as guidelines for further application of AM for the design of parts used in space industry.