According to study, “Global Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Market Research Report – Forecast to 2023” some of the major companies that are currently working in the global aerospace additive manufacturing market areArcam AB, CRP Technology S.r.l, CRS Holdings Inc., Concept laser GmbH, 3D Systems, SLM Solutions Group AG, EOS, ExOne, Optomec, Stratasys Ltd.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the process that can build a three-dimensional object based on a CAD digital model also known as 3D printing. It offers new ground for innovation, logistical advantages, and on-demand product manufacturing capability. The aerospace industry is one of the early adopters of additive manufacturing technology. Aerospace additive manufacturing offers huge advantages in the creation of components and form shapes which were previously not possible with conventional methods.
AM or 3D printing is automated. It relies on CAD software to print products using a variety of materials drastically reducing the amount of supply chain management. 3D printing helps in making lightweight, improved and complex geometries, which reduces product life-cycle costs. In the aerospace industry, 3D printing can be divided into two classes, which are; physical state and manner. The physical state of the raw material is defined by liquid, power based process. In manner class, the matter is fused on a molecular level, i.e. thermal, ultraviolet light, laser and electrons beam.
In the aerospace industry, there are many different AM processes are used as selective laser sintering (SLS), selective laser melting (SLM), electron beam melting (EBM) and wire & arc. These processes can produce extremely dense components without any post processing with comparable mechanical and electrochemical properties to other conventional manufacturing methods. SLS is used to produce parts using a variety of materials like plastics, ceramics, and metals. SLM uses a high-energy laser beam to heat and melts the powdered material. EBM is emerging as a high-quality substitute to laser melting and is used in manufacturing and repair of turbine blades. Wire & arc AM delivers free-space unrestricted weld metal deposition and can produce vertical, horizontal and angled walls, mixed-material conic sections, enclosed sections, crossovers, and intersections.
There are many polymers and metals are used in aerospace AM process. Polymers are mainly alumide, carbamide, PA 2210 FR, PA 3200GF, ULTEM 9085 and ABSi with FDM. EOS maraging steel MS1 with DMLS and aluminum AISi10Mg with DMLS are metals. These materials have different properties such as dimensional stability, strength, viscosity, and resistance to heat and moisture. The 3D printed products have solidification defects like porosities, shrinkage cavities, oxidation etc. The mechanical properties of 3D printed products can be increased by reinforcing the matrix powder with fibers.
Aerospace additive manufacturing market is defined by many terms. On the basis of a platform, the market is segmented into aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle, and spacecraft. There are many advantages of AM, which are; reduced materials wastage, digital object storage, increased customization, free complexity, reduction of product development time, no assembly required, little skill manufacturing and extreme lightweight design etc. Some disadvantages are slow to build rates, high production costs, limited component size, extensive knowledge of material design and poor mechanical properties etc.
The global market for aerospace additive manufacturing is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 20.24% between 2018 and 2023. North America and Europe have traditionally led the aerospace 3D printing materials market in terms of demand and revenue due to the high research and development. North America will be the most attractive region over the forecast period and lead regional demand in 2024. The future of additive manufacturing looks bright. In the future, 3D printing will position itself more prominently in the manufacturing landscape.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications