Fraunhofer IFAM uses EB-PBF for AM of copper components

November 30, 2019

November 30, 2019

Fraunhofer IFAM uses EB-PBF for AM of copper components
Fraunhoer IFAM’s technology demonstrator ‘Flow-Field XXL’ (Courtesy Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM)

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), Dresden, Germany, has succeeded in using Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (EB-PBF), which it refers to as Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM), to additively manufacture copper components that have not previously been possible using this process.

According to Fraunhofer IFAM, the technology demonstrator ‘Flow-Field XXL’ recently succeeded in the production of a number of pure copper components by EB-PBF on a stainless steel build plate. A total of almost 200 pins with a height of 20 mm, in nine different designs, were produced in eighteen hours on a GE Additive Arcam Q20 + machine. 

EB-PBF is said to produce completely dense structures which can achieve the necessary conductivities for use as heat exchangers, a major application for pure copper. To ensure the details in the design would be  visible, the demonstrator pins were manufactured with thicknesses of 6–12 mm, but Fraunhofer IFAM noted that smaller structures of up to 600 μm are possible, expanding the spectrum of potential applications.

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