EBM® in Aerospace

 – Additive Manufacturing taken to unseen heights

The Aerospace industry is a huge and diverse market with EBM applications found in basically all segments, such as commercial and military aircraft, space applications, missiles and various subsystems like engines and accessories.

Low Pressure Turbine blade in γ-titanium aluminide.

Courtesy of Avio Aero.

Cost reduction

A common driver throughout the aerospace segment is weight reduction. A term often referred to within the aerospace community is the Buy-to-Fly ratio. The Buy-to-Fly ratio is the weight ratio between the raw material used for a component and the weight of the component itself.

Due to the importance of weight optimization it is not uncommon with Buy-to-Fly ratio as high as 15-20 for flying components, adding a lot of cost to the component for material and machining. The EBM process opens up an opportunity to produce light-weight components with a Buy-to-Fly ratio very close to 1.

Shorter lead times

For casting the aerospace companies rely heavily on a few dominant suppliers and many times the lead time for design iterations is many months long. Arcam’s EBM technology is a tool-less production technology allowing design modifications with minimal lead time and cost.

New design possibilities

The freedom in design provided by EBM technology enables designers to create completely new and innovative product designs. Components may be optimized with regards to weight reduction or functional aspects such as improved cooling, heating or filtering characteristics.