NASA EBF3 - Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication


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The core of NASA’s EBF3 system uses a wire-feed design to deliver quality parts that are better than cast and similar to wrought materials while minimizing excess material. Multiple wires can be used to introduce multiple materials during part manufacturing, creating new alloys or layered parts. The system costs significantly less to build than others and includes other cutting-edge improvements, enabling companies previously hesitant to enter the market to compete and win in the expanding rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing market.

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  • The alloy composition of 2219/2319 Al is basically 6 wt% Cu with the balance Al. This is a common aerospace alloy used extensively on the Space Shuttle and Space Station, and is readily weldable. On the left, the microstructures show that a variety of microstructural features can be produced depending on the process parameters. The top microstructure shows that as-deposited structures can be equiaxed, similar to wrought products. The bottom microstructure shows some solidification structure (dendrites) – when heat treated, this solidification microstructure is transformed into a microstructure more typical to that shown in the top photograph. The tensile yield strength of EBF3 deposited material falls between O temper (annealed) and T4 (solutionized and quenched), based upon typical handbook values for wrought product forms like plate and sheet. After being exposed to a solutionization and artificial aging heat treatment (T6), the EBF3 material demonstrates properties equivalent to similarly heat treated wrought products.
  • NASA EBF3 - Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication

    1. 1. EBF 3 Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication from NASA
    2. 7. EBF 3 <ul><li>Build & repair anywhere </li></ul>
    3. 9. EBF 3 <ul><li>Simple beginnings </li></ul>
    4. 11. EBF 3 <ul><li>Structural properties </li></ul>
    5. 12. 2219 Al Tensile properties after T62 heat treatment (comparable to handbook for T62 sheet/plate) Deposition parameters yield equiaxed or dendritic grain structure forms 0 10 Tensile Strength, ksi % Elongation, %
    6. 13. EBF 3 Ti-6-4 equivalent to annealed wrought product 0 5 10 15 Elongation, % Strength, ksi Ti-6Al-4V
    7. 14. EBF 3 <ul><li>Minimal machining </li></ul>
    8. 17. EBF 3 <ul><li>Complex geometries </li></ul>
    9. 23. EBF 3 <ul><li>Structural components </li></ul>
    10. 26. EBF 3 <ul><li>Low power, transportable </li></ul>
    11. 28. EBF 3 <ul><li>Less power, portable </li></ul>
    12. 30. EBF 3 <ul><li>Components </li></ul>
    13. 32. EBF 3 <ul><li>Control, feedback, freedom </li></ul>
    14. 35. EBF 3 <ul><li>Microgravity </li></ul>
    15. 37. EBF 3 Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication from NASA