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BAM at the Hannover Messe: Detecting defects with thermography during the additive manufacturing process

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BAM at the Hannover Messe: Detecting defects with thermography during the additive manufacturing process
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Additive manufacturing methods enable complex components to be constructed and manufactured with precision and in a cost-efficient manner. This is particularly useful when parts are only needed in small amounts. However, as this technology is still relatively young, suitable methods for quality control during manufacturing have been lacking to date. Scientists at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) are thus investigating the process: They are developing methods that can monitor whether any defects occur within the component during production. In this way, complex post-production quality testing and rejects can be minimised in the future. The manufacturing of components - for applications within aerospace and medical technology, for example - would become quicker and more cost-efficient as a result.

In its project 'Process monitoring in additive manufacturing' (ProMoAM), BAM is focusing on examining the manufacturing of components from metallic feedstock materials. Among these components, there are those produced by selective laser melting during the powder bed process. The questions that arise are, for example: do gas pores or cracks form? And if yes: what causes them and how can we stop these quality defects from emerging?

In order to tackle this issue, the project team is developing spectroscopic and non-destructive testing methods to monitor the manufacturing process. "As the components are manufactured in layers during the powder bed process, each layer forms the surface at some point along the manufacturing process." explains project leader Dr Simon Altenburg. "We use this opportunity for so-called in-situ monitoring." For this application, approaches such as thermographic and optical methods are used.

The individual measurement results are then merged to form a 3D data set which corresponds with the component's geometry. The complete data set provides scientists with comprehensive information concerning the interior of the component, and therefore also its quality. In addition, conclusions can be drawn as to where the additive manufacturing process can be improved.

For their work, the project team uses BAM's extensive experience within the research-based and industry-oriented development of non-destructive and chemical analysis methods in industrial processes.

The quality of additively manufactured parts must be assured, particularly if they play an important role in the safe operation of industrial plants or engines. "Our goal is to monitor the production of components during the process in such a reliable way that no further tests are required following production in the future," says Altenburg.

Quality control while the process is ongoing will make the additive manufacturing of complex parts easier and quicker. It is in this way that BAM expertise is supporting the successful use of additive manufacturing processes in practice.

Where to find BAM at the Hannover Messe 2019

The main theme of BAM's exhibition this year is additive manufacturing. Under the slogan "We add Safety to Additive Manufacturing" visitors will be able to gain insight into BAM's research in this area. BAM is also presenting its commitment to promoting spin-offs (stand C51 in the Research & Technology area in hall 2).

BAM will provide information on the quality assurance of offshore wind turbines in the same hall at the BMWi trade fair stand (hall 2, stand C28).

More information about BAM at the Hannover Messe 2019 can be found at

The publication "Additive Manufacturing at BAM - We Focus on Safety" provides an overview of the wide range of our research in this area:

Venio Quinque, M.A., LL.M./LL.B. 
Head of Section Corporate Communications 
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) 
Unter den Eichen 87 
12205 Berlin 
T: + 49 30 8104-1002 
F: + 49 30 8104-71002 

About BAM

BAM promotes safety in technology and chemistry. 
As a departmental research institute of the German Federal Ministry for Economic
Affairs and Energy, BAM performs research, testing and offers advisory support
to protect people, the environment and material goods. Its activity in the
fields of materials science, materials engineering and chemistry is focussed on
the technical safety of products and processes.

BAM's research is directed towards substances, materials, building elements,
components and facilities as well as natural and technical systems important for
the national economy and relevant to society. It also tests and assesses their
safe handling and operation. BAM develops and validates analysis procedures and
assessment methods, models and necessary standards and provides science-based
services for the German industry in a European and international framework.

Safety creates markets. 
BAM sets and represents high standards for safety in technology and chemistry
for Germany and its global markets to further develop the successful German
quality culture "Made in Germany".
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Weitere Storys: BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung