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Integration of unconventional technologies for multi-material processing into manufacturing systems


Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are based on laser melting of metallic powders.
The potentiality of the technology in manufacturing components with reduced weight by functional geometries and/or configurations makes it one of the most attracting for the development and processing of innovative multi-materials.

Description of Projectidea

The integration of the above-mentioned unconventional manufacturing technologies into the process chain will be integrated with processes such as:

- thermal treatments to improve their mechanical properties
- in-process inspection and control (AM process, laser welding properties)
- stress-relieving on AM manufactured components and after laser welding
- micro-structural improvements of AM processed materials and after joining by laser welding and/or brazing techniques
- machining
- joining: laser welding, brazing (ECOR), other by Partners
- Finishing techniques (for instance Grinding, Electropolishing, Surface laser texturing or treatment)
All the previous issues will be included in the proposal.

Research will cover all of the following areas:
- innovative process chains for high cost or critical multi-material products based on unconventional technologies, integrated if appropriate with more conventional manufacturing techniques such as machining and joining (for the proposal: machining, laser welding, brazing, PVD, HVOF, finishing).
- manufacturing processes capable of generating the features and geometries required for multimaterial products as well as integrating additional improvements such as thermal treatment (included in the proposal), stress relieving (thermal treatment), surface hardening (Diffusion treatments, PVD, HVOF), corrosion resistance (PVD, HVOF, Electropolishing) or micro-structural
- new flexible machinery concepts and components to allow the integration of unconventional technologies and processes into industrial manufacturing systems able to handle a range of material combinations and products; (specific intrinsic property of ALM technology)
- In-process inspection and control to ensure quality requirements within the innovative process chains (specialized to AM and laser welding processes).
The evaluation and demonstration of the prolonged service life will be achieved by the design and development of functional test rig aiming to the validation of the prototypes designed and carried out in the project.

Multi-material components will be studied and developed for some specific cases with the aim of to increase the service life and performances by weight reduction and the integration of conventional manufacturing processes (such surface coatings).

AM represents a technology with high interest for the Packaging Machine Industry: the possibility to develop components with geometries can not be achieved by conventional machining operations or other well known transformation processes. Furthermore, the multimaterial concept represents a suitable solution to the high demand in weight reduction for the mechanical components of the machines. The reasons are in the market need to increment of the productivity of the systems. This requirements lead to stress the whole machine and its components because of the highest stresses generated by the inertia loads associated with the increased speed of the movement. The failures depending on this condition are increased without any doubt because the fatigue life of mechanical components is reduced (for the effect of frequency and stress increment).

If the mass is reduced, two advantages are immediately obtained for the automatic machines:
- reduction of the stresses (less inertia loads) on the mechanical components
- energy savings
The impact of weight reduction is also on wear problems. Wear is one of the most important failure mode in the industry. One of the main variable influencing wear is the contact pressure generated by mechanical loads.

Consortium of partners, already involved

ECOR Research (Coordinator)

Partners sought to complete the consortium


The project could be specialised in the sector of Packaging Machines (PM) and in one of the technical fields in which the ALM process can be considered of high interest: Automotive (AT), Aeronautics (AER), Aerospace (AS)


Integration of unconventional technologies for multi-material processing into manufacturing systems


Domenico Stocchi
Ecor Research Spa
Via Friuli 11
36015 Schio

Responsible NCP

Ms Serena Borgna
Telephone:0039 (0)6 93 99 93
Telefax:0039 (0)6 48 90 25 50