The Dutch Aerospace Centre (NLR), based in Marknesse, the Netherlands, in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Defence, will install a Fusion Factory Compact debinding and sintering unit for use in its development of sinter-based Additive Manufacturing. The jointly undertaken research reportedly focuses on defence applications such as battle damage repair.
The Fusion Factory Compact debinding and sintering unit, which began serial production at the beginning of 2020, is built by Xerion Berlin Laboratories GmbH, Berlin, Germany. With a footprint of just 1.2 m², the unit is designed to debind and sinter parts additively manufactured with BASF Ultrafuse 316L® filament, enabling the processing of parts within twenty-four hours.
In accordance with the BASF CATAMOLD® principle, debinding is carried out by catalytic means, while the sintering furnace can reach temperatures of up to 1,450°C under protective gas conditions. Sintering under a 100% hydrogen atmosphere is also possible.
With no powder bed used in the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) process, and 100% of the metal powder contained in the filament, it enables the machine to be used in particularly rough or hazardous conditions, such as those found on marine vessels. The overall size of the unit, with external dimensions of 1,200 x 1,000 x 2,000 mm, further supports these application.