3D Printed Pressure Vessel Surpasses Test Expectations

The Finnish metal industry has achieved a new milestone with its largest metal 3D print, a pressure vessel, enduring a pressure of 111 bars during testing. This is a substantial improvement over the preliminary estimations of a 90-bar threshold.

The collaboration between ANDRITZ Savonlinna Works Oy and the FAME Ecosystem yielded a vessel designed for a nominal 10-bar pressure, factoring in safety margins. The non-destructive testing (NDT) and subsequent destructive tests were administered by LUT University, revealing the robustness of the Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technique on a large scale, which was previously untested.

3D Printed Pressure Vessel Surpasses Test Expectations
3D printed steel pressure vessel. (Image Credit: Savonlinna Works Oy / FAME Ecosystem)

The vessel, a 300-kilogram structure composed of 316L stainless steel, demonstrates a commendable match to its CAD model within a two-millimeter average deviation. A fracture occurred at 111 bars, indicating a structural weakness near the legs, rather than a manufacturing flaw, an insight that was previously unavailable. This test offers valuable data for scaling up WAAM applications and encourages further testing of large 3D printed parts.

Standardization remains the final frontier before market readiness, with directives and EN standardization in nascent stages. The vessel’s production, involving over three kilometers of welds, stands as a testament to the potential efficiencies and capabilities of 3D printing in pressure vessel manufacturing. As standards evolve, the industry may witness a broader integration of such manufacturing processes.

“In Finland, we have enormously good expertise in the design, manufacture and testing of 3D prints,” said FAME Ecosystem Lead Eetu Holstein.

“We are able to stand out in the world as experts in particularly demanding 3D prints, which means demanding designs and applications as well as the ability to print rarer materials. We are trying to bring this message to the attention of people both in Finland and abroad.”

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The future of metal 3D printing, particularly for pressure vessels, looks poised for a gradual transition from experimental applications to standardized production, given the ongoing development of relevant standards and the demonstrated capabilities of the technology.

Source: epressi.com

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منبع: https://3dprinting.com/news/3d-printed-pressure-vessel-surpasses-test-expectations/

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