CASE STUDY: Hydraulic crossing

This case study demonstrates the increased performance possible using AM techniques. Here Selective Laser Melting (SLM) allowed designers to realise significant increases in performance in hydraulics by exploiting the possibilities of this Additive Manufacturing process.

Inside the hydraulic crossing two fluid streams cross within a limited space without mixing. The conventionally produced part consists of a massive metal block where drilled and locked blind holes meet in two levels. The main bore splits into two smaller bores to keep the height and the possible mass flow constant. The weight of the conventionally produced pipe crossing is 20 kg and measures 230 x 230 x 50 mm.

Without being hindered by the limits of conventional production processes, the designer was free to optimise the functionality and in the AM produced hydraulic crossing the fluid flow was improved by adapting the internal channel geometry according to flow simulation results. Geometrical changes of cross section profiles can be manufactured without great effort.

additively-manufactured-hyd

fig17 An additively manufactured hydraulic crossing (left) with the internal channel geometry shown (right). Designed during EU-funded project CompoLight; built on an EOS M270 system at Fraunhofer IFAM

Concerning thermodynamics, fins inside the channels are feasible to improve thermal exchange processes and to increase the parts stiffness at the same time. The newly designed hydraulic crossing (above) was produced from a stainless steel material, with internal fins supporting the part during processing. The new components dimensions are 80 x 80 x 50 mm and the total weight is only 0.7 kg, resulting in a mass reduction of around 96%.

 

increased-performance

Comparison of pressure loss of conventionally and additively built hydraulic crossing

In this study the optimisation of the channel geometry has an enormous impact on the crossing’s performance and thus on the entire hydraulic system. At a mass flow of 100 l/min, the pressure loss of the new design is reduced to only 20% of the pressure loss of the conventionally designed and manufactured part. Additionally, without any post-processing the surface quality of the AM part was sufficient to be flanged to the connecting piping. Even at a test pressure of 1400 bar, the part showed neither plastic deformation nor leakage.

 

>Next page: Back to Introduction

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 196-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Sintavia: New facility signals the move towards volume metal Additive Manufacturing for aerospace and defence
  • Thinking about metal Binder Jetting or FFF? Here is (almost) everything you need to know about sintering
  • Metal Binder Jetting and FFF: Considerations when planning a debinding and sintering facility for volume production
  • Velo3D: How a ‘support-free’ Laser Powder Bed Fusion process could remove roadblocks to serial Additive Manufacturing
  • New horizons for Additive Manufacturing in the oil, gas and maritime industries
  • Redesigned for Additive Manufacturing: Serial production of a new fuel swirler for Siemens gas turbine
  • Understanding metal powder requirements for Additive Manufacturing: Views from the industry
  • Towards a true digital twin for the metal Additive Manufacturing process
  • > More information

Latest news

    E-newsletter

    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:
    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news
    All past issues are available to download in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter