Russian nuclear industry enterprises engaged in development of 3D-printing technologies along with a number of French companies held a workshop on additive manufacturing in Moscow, including a visit to the RF State Research Center JSC “RPA “CNIITMASH” (a company included in Atomenergomash, a machine-building division of Rosatom). Among the French participants of the event, who visited Russia within the frames of a subject business mission, were the representatives of the leading technology companies appearing both as manufacturers and customers for additive technology products, namely AIRBUS Group, EDF, SAFRAN, ESI Group, Dassault Systemes, 3D Ceram, AddUp Group, VOLUME-E, AIR LIQUIDE.
During the visit to the site of JSC “RPA “CNIITMASH” Mr. Alexey Doub, the General Director of JSC RusAT (a company belonging with TVEL, the fuel company of ROSATOM) briefed the French colleagues on the operating equipment, product samples, management of research and business strategies of additive technology development in the nuclear sector. In particular, the demonstration of a printing unit using two metallic powders was given to the guests. The representatives of the French enterprises emphasized the relevance of two-powder printing technology in manufacture of turbines, where conventional welding causes difficulties in the further operation of the parts. The visitors showed their interest to the technology of powder separation and formation of the printing layer of different metals.
Mr. Vladimir Beregovskiy Director of the Institute of Nanomaterials and Surface Technologies presented technological, high-vacuum and research equipment of CNIITMASH, and in the first place, a line of commercial PVD-units NanoARCmaster, which are high-tech vacuum-plasma units for application of a wide range of protection coatings on machine parts and cutting tools using arc evaporation ion plating method. The protection coatings applied with these units make it possible to extend the service life of the tools 2 to 8 times.
Opening the subject workshop, Mr. Andrey Andrianov, Vice President for General Purpose Industry Business Development of TVEL placed emphasis on the fact that ROSATOM was a large-scale customer and developer of the additive technologies and products at the same time. One year ago an industry-based integrator RusAT (Rusatom – Additive Technologies) was set up for accumulation of the technological competences of the nuclear sector companies in this focus area, as well as for their efficient commercialization under a single brand within TVEL, the fuel company of ROSATOM.
Mrs. Svetlana Shchurenkova, Head of the Design and Engineering Department of RusAT introduced the details of additive technologies development to in the nuclear sector to the French party. She pointed out that Rosatom had developed a line of 3D-printers, in particular, the printing units using the SLM (Selective Laser Melting) technology, unique two-powder printers having advanced modular structure. E-beam printers and units using DMD technology (Direct Metal Deposition) are in the process of development. The modes of printing of steel and various alloys have been fine-tuned. Besides, Mrs. Svetlana Shchurenkova told about promising trends in implementation of additive technologies (in transport and drive engineering, nuclear industry, medical prosthesis fabrication), as well as of the first endeavors to produce the mentioned items using 3D-printing.
Plans were announced to open four sectorial engineering centers in the field of additive technologies, which will render services, carry out research and development, fine-tune the application of new materials for 3D-printing and arrange training programms.
Mr. Victor Orlov, General Director of CNIITMASH spoke of experience and capabilities of the State Research Center CNIITMASH in the field of additive technologies. He mentioned that owing to a long-term exploratory work in this area CNIITMASH was able not only to manufacture equipment according to customer requirements, but also to create integrated laboratories, as well as to localize production in its territory.
In the speeches of the French delegates it was noted that additive manufacturing of components and parts for high-tech industries (aerospace industry, defense sector, and nuclear power industry) had made it possible to decrease the time of fabrication of parts with complex geometry, reduce their weight and increase strengths, as well as cut their production cost. Special attention in all reports was paid to the use of computer simulation, software development and product licensing.
Summarizing the results of the business mission, the Russian and French colleagues noted the importance of continuous professional exchange of experience in the new fast-growing additive industry, and also agreed to further develop the possibilities for cooperation in the research area and in commercial projects.