World’s largest additively manufactured shipboard fitting produced by AML3D

September 21, 2021

The deck mounted Panama Chock in DNV’s Singapore laboratory (Courtesy DNV)

AML3D Limited, Edinburgh, Australia, has reported that Keppel Technology and Innovation (KTI) recently received a verification certificate from DNV’s Global Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence in Singapore for a metal additively manufactured deck-mounted Panama Chock, said to be the world’s largest AM shipboard fitting to receive verification from the classification society.

Traditionally manufactured through casting, Panama Chocks are large shipboard fittings welded to the ship and used for towing and mooring. For the new Panama Chock, KTI partnered with AML3D and used the company’s Wire Arc Manufacturing (WAM®) technology, a form of Directed Energy Deposition (DED), to build the 1,450 kg component.

Francois van Raemdonck, Managing Director of KTI, stated, “KTI has been working on this project with Keppel O&M, DNV and AML3D since 2019, and we are proud to achieve this endorsement. Keppel is transforming the way it harnesses technology and KTI is supporting this by collaborating with Keppel business units to innovate and create value. This is in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, which includes leveraging advanced technologies to drive growth.”

Aziz Merchant, Executive Director of Keppel Marine & Deepwater Technology, the technology arm of Keppel O&M, added “Keppel O&M is constantly exploring new technologies to stay ahead in the industry and Additive Manufacturing has the potential to increase the efficiency of shipyard operations. The 3D printing of the Panama Chock shows that large components can be made available with shorter lead times and with equal standards of quality and performance. We are encouraged by the verification and we look forward to exploring how AM can be implemented on a wider scale.”

The Panama Chock underwent successful testing, being comprehensively function tested to 20% above its design load (Courtesy DNV)

The Panama Chock was subject to extensive testing by DNV’s Singapore Laboratory and Marinelift Testing & Supply Pte Ltd. Singapore, where researchers and testing engineers used advanced microanalysis instrumentation to generate high-quality microstructural information and images. In addition, the mechanical and non-destructive testing were assessed and compared against established marine grade cast material.

The use of ER70S-6 wire feedstock, combined with AML3D’s WAM process, resulted in a material yield strength twice that of the original cast material. Additionally, various non-destructive testing and evaluation methods showed the Panama Chock was produced with acceptable internal soundness. The part was proof load tested to 20% higher load than its design working load, and following the successful load test, non-destructive and destructive testing, the results were reviewed by all parties before the final verification statement was issued.

AML3D Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Sales, commented, “We’re proud to have been able to partner with KTI and demonstrate the advantages of our patented Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM) capabilities in the creation of the world’s largest 3D printed Panama Chock. Additionally, we are equally as excited to see this WAM printed component receive official verification by DNV. This now offers a quality assurance pathway for a wide range of components that can follow a similar validation process. It is a fantastic achievement by DNV, KTI, the AML3D team and our other partners in this project. Working with KTI’s vision for implementing AM has been a further endorsement for our own business model and we’re excited for the future.”

Throughout the production and testing processes, there was close collaborative engagement between DNV, KTI and AML3D. Factors such as functional specifications, safety, testing procedures and acceptance criteria were all subjected to scrutiny by experts.

Brice Le Gallo, Regional Director, Asia Pacific Energy Systems at DNV concluded, “It’s pleasing to see further advances within the offshore and marine industry with this development for the world’s largest 3D printed shipboard fitting. Creating trust is critical for the acceptance of 3D printed parts, and DNV’s certificate plays an important role in ensuring that this is the case.”

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