EOS laser sintering machine for Materials Solutions

A fourth EOS M 270 additive layer manufacturing (ALM) machine has been installed by Materials Solutions at its Worcester site. Metals that can be used include nickel alloys such as C263, Inconel 718, Inconel 625 and Hastelloy X as well as, cobalt chrome and 316, 17-4 and 15-5 stainless steels.

The company develops new manufacturing and materials capabilities on the M 270s and integrates them with established production techniques. Functioning parts are built from 3D CAD files on the M 270 machines using a 200 W ytterbium laser to selectively solidify layers of metal powder, 20 microns at a time, in a 24/7 lights-out process.

The parts are then heat treated, finished and supplied to drawing, with further special processes subcontracted to the aerospace supply chain in the UK. The unmelted metal powder is reused, reducing waste and improving the buy-to-fly ratio.

Materials Solutions is the only Rolls-Royce approved metal ALM components provider, holds ISO 9001:2008 and is in registration for AS9100. It has vast experience supplying parts and technology to aero engine makers, with exports to Germany and North America accounting for about 30 per cent of sales.

In addition to the M 270 ALM capability, Materials Solutions has in-house heat treatment with full data logging, a machine shop, surface finishing, a metals laboratory including a Hitachi electron microscope and a fully equipped inspection capability including a scanning coordinate measuring machine.

The company started in 2006 and is in receipt of a grant from Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

Michael Richards

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